Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas

The clock has turned past midnight, and another Christmas has arrived.  Welcome!
In all of the chaos going through my mind, I almost forgot to feel the joy of Christmas...but here I am, in my flannel PJs, sitting in the glow of the Christmas tree in my living room.  

We went to church and sang carols.  My daughter wore a sparkly dress, and participated in the pageant.  I waved at friends and hugged them and exchanged Merry Christmases.  Now, my child is nestled all snug in her bed, satisfied and happy; the many friends have gone home now, and the leftovers have been packaged up and put away, and the dishwasher is on its second run of the night.  With the child safely asleep, the stocking was stuffed, and the last present tucked under the tree.  Bryan is asleep in the guest room, one floor below me.

It's a funny life, this life of mine, but it is also beloved.  A swirl of children, the joyful chaos in the kitchen of friends bringing this and that, the giggles of the women exchanging secrets girlishly, the men clinking glasses and talking.

The morning will bring another happy chaos - the tearing of paper, Katherine watching a few small wishes come true, a special breakfast and a gallon of coffee.  The afternoon will bring four generations of relatives - noisy boys and a forgetful great grandmother; men who talk politics (not my politics, though....!), and there will be the pouring of drinks and so much food.

It's a Christmas like every other Christmas, and there is a Norman Rockwell quality to these Christmases of mine that I do not forget.  Despite the many imperfections of my life, the worries and the fears, there is the fact that mine is a Christmas many might envy.  A home with fir garlands and holly draped around the candlesticks on the piano; a dish of peppermints on the coffee table; gold rimmed plates and mugs covered in holly.  The tree almost touches the ceiling, and despite our efforts, we can't get the angel on top to sit quite straight, but an angel with a mind of her own is my kind of angel anyway.  I don't have time to be sad or lonely, because there's too much to do - a roast to get into the oven, a cake to be iced.

But the presents are wrapped and under the tree, the food prepped or planned, the refrigerator filled to bursting, the spare chairs huddled around the fully extended table.  In this moment, I will remember that all is calm, all is bright, and I will appreciate my bounty.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

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