Look at that happy family! They appear delighted to see each other. The wreath on the door suggests they are ready for Christmas and for company. I just bet that behind that door there is Christmas music playing, a fireplace crackling, the smell of home cooking and a beautifully decorated tree packed with presents underneath.
That was not unlike the family I grew up in. Yes, some people really do have families like that. My 66 years, however, have shown me that this kind of family is the exception, not the rule.
Let me tell you about the first Christmas when my 'happy family' bubble burst. It equals the disappointment of finding out there is no Santa.
It was a chilly December day in 1971. The scene, Ottawa, Ontario. It is cold and snowing, perfect Christmas weather. My new husband, Bryan, and I made the thirty minute drive out to his mom's to celebrate our first married Christmas. We would divide our time between both families, but give deference to his mom and bachelor brother for Christmas, since that was all there was of his family and it just didn't seem right to abandon them. I was sure that I would be happy as long as my precious new husband and I were together. Little did I know….