Tucked amid all the storage containers filled with lights and ornaments are the odd elements of past Christmas celebrations--paper ornaments made by my now almost 40 year old son when he was six, the Christmas topper angel that my grandmother brought from Europe when I was 12, and a remaining card or two with a note or image of the family and friends whose names have slipped away.
The images return like Marley's ghost of Christmas past and fill my heart. An image of Christopher at six months dressed in a snappy knit suit posed against a dark background, Nathaniel in a fireman's hat that has become almost a family icon, an image of my brother and I in a New England snow scene circa 1949, or reaching even further into yesteryear an image of my own first Christmas.
This was the time of year when Mom would force us all into a snow bank for the portrait or that Dad would set up his tripod, gather us all together, set the timer, and run like hell to get himself in the picture before the flash popped. Later he would notice some item of detrius in the image and sigh that there is always garbage in the pictures.
Iconic images of family and celebration.
Happy Christmas, Kwanza, Hanukah or whatever the solistice means to you and those you love. May your memories bring you joy and love.