Twas the day after Christmas…

Published 6:51 pm Thursday, December 28, 2017

I think I am still here. I can’t feel my feet, and my eyes are just about closed, but yes, I just hit myself with the vacuum cleaner and it hurt! Must mean I am alive after all!

The garbage cans are so full, I am sure my nice trash man will change professions after today. The washing machine is refusing to accept anymore detergent and the dryer doesn’t remember how to stop.

Remnants of Christmas are scattered everywhere along with cookie crumbs and Rice Krispies. Toddler toys are piled high in a child’s toy grocery cart and there is a doll that keeps telling me she loves me when I limp by.

The Gendusa family Christmas just happened. Life in our neighborhood may not be the same again. Cars filled the street, the dog ran away and Jax, my 17-month-old grandson, wanted to run folks over with the pink grocery cart that really belonged to his little girl cousin.

It was amazing how fast he could run from her screams and outstretched arms.

All our blended five children returned home to celebrate with their own broods, plus nieces, nephews and… wait, who was that guy? Maybe it was the policeman that had been called to the scene! I think he decided to eat with us. Not sure.

Today the house is quiet except for the dryer and the vacuum. My children left to visit their dad for the night in South Carolina and my husband is returning things just to leave the house. I can’t believe I am alone! I might take a moment and brush my teeth and hair if I can locate the brushes.

I plan for the Gendusa family Christmas for months. Menus, gifts, desserts and decorations that resemble some location in the North Pole, abound. I realize it gets bigger every year and today, I figured out why.

My oldest grandchild will soon enter her teens. She has always insisted on coming to Grandma’s house for the holidays. She loves family and since she has no siblings, she adores her cousins and loves the new babies in our family.

I feel blessed beyond belief that folks still want to come to this winter wonderland I create to celebrate. It takes a lot of work to entice this crew, but it has always worked.  Now, as the years slip by, I realize there might come a day when the house will be clean on Dec. 26, and the police will no longer have to be called.

Jax will walk instead of run, and the nephews and nieces will be with their own broods in some far away place they call home.

If I could stop time on any given day it would be on Christmas. I would make each precious second turn into a minute and Christmas day would last another day or two.

However, I know life goes at its own pace.  It is something we all must adapt to, but it is still difficult when our lives change. Maybe that is why we have cameras and memory so that we can go back while we move forward.

I take nothing for granted, especially my children. Everyday those children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews are a part of my world, I realize how much God loved me to let me be a part of their lives. What a gift!

When they gather at our table or are together laughing, chasing the dog, chasing the babies or watching Rice Krispies fall from the sky onto the floor, I realize I am happiest amid the chaos.

Yes, one day the Gendusa family Christmas will not be the same. It will become a memory ingrained into each of those that were blessed to be a part of it.

My hope is that they carry it forward to the generations that will follow. One day my soon to be teen granddaughter will be watching her soon to be teen, recalling Christmas time at Grandma’s winter wonderland.

She will tell her child about dinners when we sang “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and never got it perfect. She will try to describe the games played, the abundance of presents, and the three-tiered cake to celebrate the birthday of Jesus. She will describe the laughter of her parents, her cousins and babies that made Rice Krispies fall from the sky.

She will tell her child that Christmas is family, it is wonderful, and it is a gift no matter how tired she may be the day after.

Lynn Walker Gendusa is a former resident and writer who currently resides in Roswell. She can be reached at