Friday, December 25, 2009

merry merry merry christmas

Merry Christmas! Here it is, December 25th. Comes around once a year - and we go to excess. Excessive joy, excessive spirits. And, it's all good.

The kids in the house showed restraint - and didn't get up until 8:30. Well, they were up at six but one of the parents made them go back to sleep - or at least let us all sleep. Then they were up and the whole house woke up. I lay on the big leather couch in the basement, listening to the voices upstairs, in the next room, around.

We all put on comfortable lounging clothes and made our way to the living room. Presents to be opened - a chaotic half hour of kids opening presents, bringing presents around to everyone, people hugging, calling across the din to each other - "Thank you for this! I love it!" People going around bunching up the wrapping paper that had in the days before been so carefully cut and taped, crushing it into bunches and putting them in a bag. And just like that - the pile of potential presents that last night had lain like jewels under the tree - were unwrapped, piled around us. Become real. Along with stray ribbons, and chocolates.

Soon after the kids descended in a troupe to the basement to play more XBox. The rest of us sat there, nibbling on les chocolatines and admiring our various gifts. Telling each other the stories of where we found them, how we got them. "There is this store in Peterborough... there is this artist in Winnipeg... when I was in Dubai..."

Now - we are preparing for tonight's dinner. More family coming for that. Dishes to be done, wiped, put away. The tablecloth to be brushed off. Food already cooked in advance to be warmed up, presented. The kids, the little cousins, will jump on our laps and hug us and then run off to another room to stare at a big screen and manipulate plastic controllers that let them be soldiers, or motorcycle drivers.

Merry Christmas to you, and yours. May you have a full and delightful holiday - or a restful one. May it be what you want it to be, and may it be what you didn't imagine. Let it be.

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