Christmastime is here, again

This is a blessed time, when we are reminded of the supposed goodness that is inherent in the human heart, if we are to believe in the birth of a representation of what is holy within and without us. What we shall come to destroy, in time, given our equally powerful will to destroy what stands in our path, as humans, anything threatening must be slayed, crush first, ask questions later.

And with such a framework in place (everybody’s celebrating some kind of renewal, a vigil for a miracle, a sentiment of accord that enables a hyper-build-up of military appliances, the birth of a savior who will be taken down by those very same hostile forces that must destroy to exist. Strange but true. I run into all the time in the entertainment industry. A disproportionately vicious (for what’s truly at stake) place to try to stay employed.

I remember Christmas as a brief reprieve from school where the pressures of being judged and the desire for reward escalated with mid-term exams. Then, whoosh, a break, or in my case, at least one Christmas vacation, started with a bad car accident in the mountains. Then there was the time when Grampus became physical with Aunt Frances, over some by the-Walker-meter, dire insult to someone’s honor, but mostly it was probably because of gin, which always made the scene a bit testy.

Then there were the good memories of Christmastime, the Winter Solstice, hopefully a snowstorm, time with horses, dogs and ducks instead of too many people, reading books, no deadlines by the fire, plenty of food, and family. Oh, how I miss my family, circa 1977-1983, if I had only known.

But the idea is still there–warmth generated from the kitchen, a father watching football and making feather paintings, everyone relaxing, a brother home from college hopefully with one of his cute friends, we always had people staying with us, that is one thing I am proud of, we had 26 rooms (and as my mother would add, 6 bathrooms–mostly half baths because having places for people to do their business is always a good thing if you want people to feel at home. I have to say that between my mother and my grandmother Mimi, they succeeded in creating the meaning of home for anyone who came through the door–you were always welcome, you had a place to stay (if your house burned down or you needed a break from the grief your family was coping with), Goochland’s “Reflections” was a haven that I will always feel is Christmastime, to me.

That, and the kitchen at ‘The Farm” where Mimi was always baking and there was a nice, bright red wood stove. Thank you for that, and Merry Christmas to all those people in my life who have made this time of year a warm and comforting time and place. Joy to the world, goodwill to mankind, and peace on earth.

Katherine Walker

Christmas Day, 2011

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