The holidays can be an odd time. Amid the festivities, all the decorating and baking, a wisfulness hangs in the air as unmistakable as the scent of Fraser Fir. Another year passed, we muse. How did it happen so quickly? Where did we spend all those days?
And while we occasionally roll our eyes, Charlie Brown-like, at the commercialism of the holidays, we cannot resist the pull. Year after year we converge â€” scooting close to each other on the couch, sharing the last beer in the fridge, scrolling through a yearâ€™s worth of pictures on the iPhone. Itâ€™s so good to see you, we say. Next time, letâ€™s not wait so long.
By the time we finally tear into that craggy mountain of gifts under the tree, the holiday togetherness is nearly over. Weâ€™ve begun thinking about the next day and the drive home.
Still, those gifts mean something. No matter how small or large. The thought counts, after all, and every one of those gifts was considered (if only briefly), purchased, wrapped, and stowed.
Some will be hits, many will be misses. But in that moment â€” as you joke about your brotherâ€™s reindeer PJs, or force a smile when your mother gifts you with three months of eHarmony â€” youâ€™re part of something bigger, something knit together with memories and time. The presents youâ€™ll forget. But those odd and lovely people donâ€™t fade.
â€œArt in the Ageâ€ sweet potato vodka, $30 at Tamworth Distilling and Mercantile, 15 Cleveland Hill Road, Tamworth, NH