It's the end. By tonight, the presents will all be wrapped, the stockings hung and the goose stuffed. Tomorrow morning, millions of children everywhere will squeal with joy at the surprises under the tree, or in the stockings. And we too, will feel their joy and collectively sigh a big sigh of relief. Another Christmas, another major event for which we were assigned the part of provider of mirth and fulfiller or desires, has come. Mission Accomplished. We played our part as well and as fully as we could. All of us. Even if we do not believe in Christmas magic, or Santa, or Baby Jesus.
Pagan or Christian, agnostic or Jew, Muslim or Buddist, we have all stretched our understanding of celebration to include a fir tree, decorated and imposing, a spectacular dessert and gift giving. Indulgence going both ways.
And we have remembered all the other Christmases in our lives; the sad and disappointed ones too. Mostly,though, we kept fussing with our memories until something about the magic and the giving and the joy was unearthed. For me, it was about making Panettone, the sweet bread my mother made only at Christmas. It was so hard for her to get all the ingredients collected-most of the time she had to improvise when something was missing, one reason I enjoy that form of cooking also-that presenting the family with such a treat on Christmas morning with hot chocolate takes me back to all the Christmases past.
I hope my children and grandchild (and future grandchildren) will still maintain the tradition of making Panettone. It will connect them to their families for centuries.