Tradition died- the laughter of innocents- Chris Ritchey- January 3rd
The Memory Ring – Nana
The third day of January – another 3rd -another year – another holiday season was experienced and survived without your smile , without your laughter , your being , your lighting of the Christmas pudding – because you weren’t here and actually neither was the pudding or any other aspect of the holidays in this house .
As we talked , your sister and I, after all the happenings and celebration by those innocents – the children , the dinners, the guests , Nikki pointed out that everything now, about our celebrations, is totally different.
all the traditions she had grown up with were no longer part of our holiday – most of the people who sat around my holiday table had gone- some through passing and some through their own volition.
I knew that first Christmas you weren’t here , Christmas past was never to be Christmas present or Christmas future again……..
I hadn’t realized, until Nikki pointed it out, just how much had changed from those Christmases I had experienced as a child in England. The fun we used to have at my Uncle Mark’s on Boxing Day, the family plays put on by my Auntie Rene and then I saw a picture of Aunt Rene’s son on facebook dressed in a “Christmas tree suit” – his smile and humour touching my heart and flooding me with memories. The ghost of Christmas past dressed in a suit of red long johns and a Christmas tree.( The face has been excluded to protect the guilty :)
I tried to bring those traditions of fun , the food, the things I grew up with, here to the United States. I only partially succeeded. We always had the traditional English Christmas dinner, parties, breakfasts , bubble and squeak with the leftovers, cakes, mince pies, the drinks – sweet Sherry- Port and Lemon for my Uncle Mark and the Christmas pudding ( which only two us ever ate) was duly steamed and set alight by you, my Christopher. How you delighted in your job- pouring so much brandy over the pudding that it took forever sometimes to go out.
As Nikki spoke I realized she was right, there was hardly anything at all nothing left of our Christmas past. I think the cable guys who came to once again look at the cable were relieved they didn’t have to move a tree. Had they gone upstairs to Nana’s living room they would have seen at least her “Granny’s Christmas Grotto” the Santa Clauses and presents of Christmas past you gave her on display, your Nana keeps you in her heart and in her Christmas. Nana still makes the chocolate Christmas log you so loved and helps Gavin to a big slice.
Nikki was right , there was nothing much left of our Christmas past– no presents from Santa wrapped in plain red paper, but your Chris- Miss presents were opened on Christmas Eve by such an excited little child- after wishes were made to the flight of Chinese Sky Lanterns. Following of the balloon fish was not repeated this year; a tradition that needed to be deflated ;) And another little boy watched as his mummy opened his special
( I chose it myself gift)
to his mummy making her smile with delight
I must say Gavin wasn’t enthused at the “boiling of the “named for those who wronged ” lobsters in the pot as you were at the pudding and decidedly stated
ew what are they , why are you eating them – I don’t like lobster”
We did have Christmas Crackers- although Gavin now thinks every time we sit at Nikki’s dining room table for special dinners we always have to pull crackers and wear a crown. New Years Eve dinner was no different and when he realized the table wasn’t set with “crackers” he found the left overs so once again paper hat crowns reigned supreme.
Christmas morning Nikki and Jim have started their own traditions with their little family now including “dirt” who celebrated his first Christmas, and Christmas night was spent with other uncles and aunts and cousins.
The food had changed , the people have changed – but among the tears held back children once again flush with excitement
and new traditions replace the old and I got through it one more time because they had changed………….
Entry filed under: Chris Ritchey, Christmas, grief, Love, Third. Tags: Christmas, Christopher D. Ritchey, christopher ritchey lorain, death, english christmas dinner, grief, holidays, Love, mothers and sons.