An Open Letter to My Moms:
When I said I was happy that we didn’t have Christmas with our family, I meant the yahoos that constitute our EXTENDED family. I’m sure you remember how our Christmases were the best. Even when we had nothing, you made Christmas everything. When we were kids, a lot of our friends had more money and got more presents. But their Christmas never meant as much as ours did….
People often speak of "Christmas Spirit", such as that which infected Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol". Ma, you are that Christmas Spirit! You made the holidays so special because you believed they were special! It was always about so much more than what we received – it was about spending our time together.
You know what I remember about Christmas with you? I mean – other than the most delicious food anyone could ever dream of eating? I remember driving around looking at people’s Christmas lights and singing Christmas carols. I remember going to church with you as a kid for the Christmas services. I remember that there would be a present for the cat. I remember that one year I got a present FROM the stinking cat (an electric pencil-sharpener). I remember the sooty footprints on the paper from the fireplace to the tree the year I started to lose my faith in Santa. I remember sitting in the living room on the couch with you, all the lights out except the Christmas tree, and watching the 100 year old version of "A Christmas Carol" with the Canadian Tire commercials that had to be skipped through. I remember that you sent the most amazing and thoughtful Christmas packages ever to Korea. I remember that you threatened to send a turkey-sented piece of paper towel this year and made me laugh.
I remember that our Christmases were good with just us. And that’s what I meant when I said that I was glad we didn’t spend them with the family. Because we never needed more than us.
I miss you lots being here, Moms. But I miss you most at Christmas because that is when I felt like our small family was the closest. I promise you that your efforts over the last three decades were noticed, are remembered, and will always be appreciated.
All my love,