After almost two of the hardest years any of us could ever imagine in our wildest nightmares, (which are really still going on, by the way,) I feel everyone deserves to have a happy holiday right now.

I like to think that Charlie Brown and Snoopy (from my mother's favorite holiday special) are looking up at her in this image.

I like to think that Charlie Brown and Snoopy (from my mother’s favorite holiday special) are looking up at her in this image.

As usual for the past several years, though, I must first bring the room down by reminding mainly myself that Christmas Day will be exactly a decade since I lost my precious little mother. How is it possible that it’s been that long since I’ve seen her? (In person, that is—she’s actually quite often in my dreams, I’m happy to report. And as entertaining as ever in them!)

At this point in life, the stunningly painful reality of losing my mother on Christmas Day, (while I was working on the dinner to which I had invited several of our pals and relatives, to give my mother a happy time,) often eludes me on a daily basis, except for brief moments of relief that she’s witnessing all these latest horrors from Heaven, instead of Brooklyn! That part comforts me a bit.

But Mr. X and I still can’t bring ourselves to celebrate this holiday in the same magical way we always did up until then. We try to do a little each year, but our hearts are just not into it. And then I panic in January, feeling that I should have trotted-out all our wonderful holiday items, and I vow to do Christmas right the next year. I’m sure my mother would want us to do just that—she loved the yuletide as much as we did.

As a matter of fact, in her later years, she always created, (with my help, of course,) a fabulous winter “village” on the entirety of her dining room table! She would have decorated her entire house, but our neighborhood had become mostly Orthodox Jews, and she didn’t want to offend anyone. So we kept it on the down-low. But it was downright gorgeous, and brought great joy to her and to all of us who were lucky enough to feast our eyes on it, actually. It was soooo cheery!

May Rose Salkin's festive dining room table "Holiday Village." Photo by Karen Salkin.

May Rose Salkin’s festive dining room table “Holiday Village.” Photo by Karen Salkin.

OMG—I didn’t plan to write any of that! But since the memory of my mother’s holiday happiness is bringing a smile to my face right now, I’m letting it stand.

Actually, there’s not much more to say on the topic this year. Except that I sincerely hope that every single one of you will do absolutely everything you can to stay healthy this holiday season. Please be smart, especially right now. The Covid pandemic is far from over, even for all us rational, well-informed, caring-about-humanity triple-vaxxed peeps.

251084928_23849275336880713_7792876333918558110_nAnd please listen to your instincts. If you know you’ll be safer at home by your lonesome on Christmas, do that! Is some turkey and stuffing worth the worry of being near others? Mr. X and I are due to go to a friend’s small gathering, where I can just about guarantee that everyone is all vaxxed and boosted. But if we decide that we don’t want risk it that day, we’re fine staying in with a frozen pizza and Hallmark Christmas movies. Heck, we’re so behind in our holiday viewing that we haven’t even finished watching the Thanksgiving Parade yet!!!

So, everyone, please consider alternate Christmas Eve and Christmas Day plans, and just take care of yourselves. Honestly, the only gift I want is that of good health for Mr. X and me. And for all of you, as well.

And to all who celebrate, I wish you a very Merry (and safe and healthy) Christmas. Be careful out there!


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