The Fiftieth December Twentieth

My wife and I sat in our easy chairs at the end of the day and both commented that "today was a very good day". We didn't win the lottery, or welcome a new great grandchild, or even find a lucky penny on the sidewalk. It was, in most respects, rather quotidian. Amanda was here, and Jamie spent the afternoon with us. We prepared cookie trays to give to friends and families. That's really about all that happened that day that's worth mentioning now (two days later).

After agreeing that it was a good day I commented that I have seen about seventy December 20th's come and go and I can't remember anything at all about any of them. Neither of us could call up any memories associated with any of our previous fifth-day-before-Christmas days.

So, I went digging through the archives in my computer to see what was recorded for dates that included "12-20". The oldest record I found on my initial pass through the most accessible material was a few photos that we took (without flash) on December 20, 2002 at a children's Christmas pageant that we attended at our friends' church.

 Photo of pageant
Photo of pageant

Six years later there are three snapshots we took while visiting our daughter and her family in Arkansas, and last year I took a couple of pictures of a batch of oatcakes that I baked on December 20. That's all the photographic memory aids I could find.

It was really easy to find records of purchases we've made on December 20 over the past decade or more: 2012 - $13.49 for a prescription and $2.15 at a fast-food burger place; 2013 - three grocery stores and lunch at another burger place; 2015 - car parts, a dollar store, a membership warehouse store, and a convenience store; 2019 - a grocery store, and my wife got her hair cut; 2021 - two different big-box retailers fifty miles apart, and parking at the airport where we picked up our grandson coming to visit; and 2022 - a gift for our grandson from a local specialty retailer. We live such exciting lives!

Digging deeper I found over two thousand e-mail messages containing "20 Dec" going back to the late 1990s, most from mailing-lists that I've participated in. I did notice that on that date in 2010 I read an article online that was particularly appropriate for one of our grandchildren so I forwarded a link to "Reading, Writing, ‘Rithmetic and Relationships" to my daughter.

We remember the days our family members were born or died. Great joy or great trauma stand out in our memories, great days don't. Still, it was a very good day, and now we may remember that for even longer.

📅 c: 2023-12-22 12:16 ✏️ e:

🏷 tags: #Christmas #memory #family


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