It started about four years ago when Wally and I had yet another failed cycle, and I felt I couldn't face anyone except him on Christmas Eve. It was just too hard for me to sit around with a smile plastered on my face while others shared in the merriment. I knew I had to do it for Christmas but two days in a row was just torture - I can only be so fake. That Christmas, I asked Wally if he wouldn't mind if it could just be us. He agreed knowing the pain he and I were both in at the time. We went to a later mass (7:30 pm) where I knew there weren't going to be many children present. What I failed to realize is that after the Eucharist, the lights are dimmed and Silent Night is played. Well, I cried and cried and cried but the thing is I still do even after Benjamin has come into our lives -- dimmed lights and beautifully moving Christmas music gets to me every time. After the mass, we decided to get something to eat with very little choices we got Chinese at Hunan Taste. We ate duck and had champagne then headed out to see some Christmas lights. After the lights, we headed back home and waited for Santa to arrive.
Not much has changed, we did go to mass earlier this year. With Benjamin having a breakdown and the Assumption being packed to the gills, I was the only one that remained until the end of church to hear Silent Night. Wally and Ben picked me back up 20 minutes after I called him. As the time approached 20 minutes, I started to walk home in rain crying thinking something horrible happened to Wally and Ben. When I finally saw our Tahoe high-beaming me in the middle of the street, I got in the car and burst into tears. I cried, "I thought you feel and were knocked on conscious and Benjamin was sitting there trying to wake you up, crying in the rain." While I sobbed, my beautiful son from the backseat said, "ba ba it's ok, ba ba it's ok." It took a glass of champagne at Hunan Taste to finally calm me down. And because we went to mass earlier, there was a huge wait at the restaurant. We made it through apps but Ben had enough so the duck and Seafood Country Style was wrapped to-go. We saw a few lights and headed home to wait for the arrival of Santa. And our Christmas Eve tradition continues.