Ho ho hurray, hurray…the holidays are over. It will be another year, before I become anxious over family gatherings; wonder if I should make the contribution of my own big holiday meal; fret over if I should buy Christmas gifts even though the new rule is no Christmas gifts.

All the usual questions: Do I have something festive to wear? Can I make a vegetable dish everyone will love or pretend to love? Will I survive the evening?

Will I quarrel with my younger daughter? Will I be embarrassed by my adult grandchildren’s free and easy modern bold sexuality? Will I feel excluded and shut out?  Will I end up crying?

I will be happy to be licked and kissed by the dogs. The dogs seem to adore me. The miniature dachshund will sit my feet during the whole Christmas dinner, because he knows eventually, I will give in and throw him delicious scraps from my plate.

At Christmas dinner, I will eat and drink too much, I am too happy for the pleasures of our family’s excellent cooking. I will take what I can get…hugs, kisses, and admiration from the dogs.

By New Year’s I am glad to be alone in my quiet house.