It’s still only 9:30 in the morning on Christmas day, but I’m already having a most marvelous morning!
I woke up about 7:00. Arthur was already awake in his room, waiting patiently till his sister was up before going down to check out the presents by the tree. When I went down to let Max (the dog) outside, I opened the door and was greeted by complete, snowy silence. Utter, cold, white, glorious silence! Probably the only day of the year when there is not a sound to be heard in all the village. No car passing on the next street over, no train whistle echoing in the distance, not a peep from the canning factory a half mile to the west, nor even the trill of a bird. Just the deep, ringing stillness of Christmas morning. My senses opened like a balloon to fill the gray sky beyond the trees. And I was suddenly awake!
Then Stephanie came down and coffee was brewing and raspberry muffins were quickly prepared and popped in the oven. Fiona came downstairs with her brother to survey the presents by the colorful glow of the Christmas tree, and the unwrapping began.
After all was opened and explored, I must say we did a pretty nice job this year of balancing excess with restraint! The kids didn’t get a lot of huge toys or even many things that needed lots of batteries or complex parental construction. Everything they got was something they really wanted, and I think everyone was well satisfied without an orgy of overindulgence.
Fiona and Mama are presently constructing an amazing structure in the living room with the 300 piece wooden Citi-Blocks set that Arthur got, while listening to a CD of girl music I made on Fiona’s new (pink!) radio/CD player. Arthur’s gone from reading his new graphic novel to playing a new DS game. Max is happily devouring his rawhide chew toy, which, I’m afraid, won’t be around for too long. And I’m sitting here in my very comfortable new slippers, savoring the pure joy of this wonderful morning with my wonderful family. The true joy of Christmas for me is stopping to experience, once again, just how gosh darn lucky I am!! I really have a wonderful life! (Thank you Jimmy Stewart) And I hope I never take that for granted.
Last night we all went over to the Presbyterian church for a 7 o’clock Christmas service. The family across the street from us go there, and the mother (Sonia) was going to be singing, so I thought it would be nice. My pseudo-atheist son was not crazy about going, but he relented grudgingly. The church was quite beautiful, with a huge tree aglow with many white lights and the singing of many Christmas carols. Though we don’t particularly adhere to any single religion, being of a Buddhist/Agnostic/Pagan/Taoist/former Catholic and Mormon background, it was still very pleasant to share the spirit of the season with such a large, festive group. (And Sonia’s voice is truly that of an angel!) At one point they asked for kids to come up to the front for a little ‘manger talk’, and my seemingly shy but fearless daughter wanted to go. I’m quite proud of Arthur for going with her, by Stephanie’s request, and they both even took part in the discussion. Fiona is still a bit unclear about the whole Christmas story, so this was a great experience. She’s definitely not shy about asking questions! And it all worked out nicely. Arthur quite enjoyed the lighting of the candles we were all given as the church was darkened and the new light passed from person to person to fill the night.
So… I must finish up. I hear that the kids are now watching cartoons. I’d almost forgotten this is Saturday morning, after all! I look forward to a day of lounging and eating and playing and eating. I hope you are all able to enjoy this day as much as possible.
Merry Christmas to all!