My mother lived in the past, and when her ideal of the Currier and Ives Christmas didn’t measure up, she was angry and hurt and made our home life miserable. I dreaded that time of year until I managed to create my own sense of home around the holidays as an adult.
One year, I put together an annual caroling party with a group of musicians. When we went to a local nursing home and serenaded them, all of us–both singers and residents—were touched by songs we recalled from childhood. Afterward we came back to my place for a pot luck dinner and more music and we’ve made this a tradition every year. Now I have my own version of a Currier and Ives Christmas—one both satisfying and attainable.