We had a joyful gathering of 60 or so on Sunday night at our annual Christmas Party. The house was brimming with Christmas, more Santa's scattered about than I could possibly count. A dozen or so folks from work came, and that was a special joy. But no more of a joy than the old friends, some of whom we see only once a year at this party.
The 19th anniversary Christmas Party ... it started out as "A Victorian Christmas Party in 1989" when Kurt and Tom and I decided to throw a bash for everyone we knew in Kurt's home on Page Street. It was a wild night, probably 200 people over the course of eight hours. We did it again in 1990 and 1991, and even in that last year, Kurt was still vital and in charge. But AIDS took him only six months later. So this party has always been about memory as well as a joy. Tom lasted another year. So many of the men in my life from those days are gone. But the party lives on.
Gawd, I did not intend to be maudlin. But Kurt is always at the party. When we sang Silent Night, I asked everyone to think of those no longer with us ... and when I said Kurt's name, June and Dave and Kerry and I, the last of the originals as it were, all nodded and smiled.
We drank and ate ... two turkeys and a ham ... we talked, and said Merry Christmas as often as we could find an excuse. Christmas is about joy and friendship and taking stock at the darkest time of the year. It is about fellowship and giving. And it is about remembering.
More than anything, though, it is about Santa Claus. Let's leave it at that.