The Din of Christmas · 31 December 2011

The din of Christmas is still ringing in my ears.  The sounds of conversations, laughing, drumming, strumming, clanging, and general ruckus remain in my head.  I can still hear the chaos of the day.  To me, all that clatter was the sweet music of a family gathering.

I love it when our family gets together.  Those gatherings do not occur often enough because we do not all live close to each other.  So when we do see each other, it is a cherished time.  Our kids love to play with each other and we just like to be together.  Seeing all of our children singing, dancing, and just playing reminds me of when we were kids playing with our cousins.

Back in those days, people did not seem to move around as much.  Everybody lived close to family and we would travel almost every weekend to a family gathering.  Our parents and their siblings would talk around the dinner table for hours.  They would tell stories, reminisce, and laugh all night long.  We kids would be playing in another room until we had to go to bed.  Then, we would fall asleep to the murmur of our parents talking and laughing.

My siblings and I do not have those weekly gatherings at our parents’ house, but we do get together when we can.  And when we do, we are the ones who talk and laugh and reminisce while our children are lulled to sleep with our chatter.

This year, three of the four of us gathered at my sister’s house for Christmas.  We all had a great time watching the kids rip open their gifts.  They would open one and start playing with it until it was time to open the next one.  My boys helped their younger cousins find and play with their gifts.  Then when the hubbub of unwrapping was finished, they got absorbed in their video games and blended in with the furniture.

The little ones drummed and strummed and danced to their hearts’ content.  They enjoyed the gifts and the food and just being together.  We, their parents, tried to keep the chaos under a little control.  And our parents, their grandparents, just soaked it up and enjoyed it all.  The best gift for them was family time.  In reality, the best gift for all of us was just being together. After all, toys will break and get lost, but memories will last forever.

This Christmas vacation was full of chaos and noise.  It was full of laughter.  It was full of family.  And while the din of Christmas will eventually stop ringing in my ears, the joy of gathering with family will forever warm my heart.

© 2011 Michael T. Miyoshi

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