The term aftermath is often used to describe the period following a disaster. Christmas isn’t usually that type of event, but it can have features of one.
We open gifts on Christmas. We had expectations. I noticed my estranged husband spent a considerable amount more on a gift for his girlfriend. He gave me a coffee mug. I need to move on.
Wrapping paper is strewn about the floor. The presents are randomly scattered in the house. Now there is a period of reorganization required.
It wouldn’t be the holidays without some family drama. My estranged husband asked me if I could try really hard to be nice to his girlfriend on Christmas Eve. He said I was mean last year. I’m a different person a year later, and I was insulted. I need to move on.
The food. Maybe we overindulged and gained weight or simply feel guilty. I was excited when I arrived at my parent’s upon hearing there was lasagna in the oven. They make killer homemade lasagna. Even though I think it’s overkill to eat it as a first course for dinner, I got over it and was looking forward to indulging. It always reminds me of Christmas at my Italian grandparent’s house when I was a kid and the holiday was about food all day long.
I sat at the head of the table set for six in anticipation of the rich, calorie dense, nostalgic appetizer. I took my first bite. This was not my father’s lasagna. I didn’t want to say anything. Then, they asked, “How’s the lasagna?” “It’s OK.” I said. I ate a small piece.
They finally confessed it was a frozen lasagna they had received as a bonus for shopping at the grocery store. That explained everything. My parents are 85 and 86 years old. They took the easy way out, and hoped no one would notice.
I was just glad they are still around and can set the table and cook something for me and their three adult grandchildren.
For all of the messiness involved on the day after Christmas, I look back with gratitude for having my health and my family to celebrate.