It’s still early here. 7:10 AM on the clock to be exact.
The initial flurry of activity – starting another loaf of bread in the machine, putting the turkey in the oven*, heading back to bed. Then we were “woken up” by our seven year old before 6 AM.
I love how he was more excited to see us open our presents. He brought them back to our room (which is great…I had just gotten comfortable whenever he came in to get us up). His dad got a ring that says DAD on it that he had proudly picked out all by himself at the Santa’s Workshop at school. Me? I got a little plastic box of coprolite that he picked out just for me at the Museum of Natural History in Philly when we were there last month.
It’ll go nicely with what they got me last year.
I detect a theme.
Some presents were opened. Others were left to open when the rest of the family gets here around lunchtime. Ooos and Ahhhs were made appropriately.
I was hoping to sneak off and read the books that the Book Fairy brought me.
Instead I decided to settle for reading directions about setting up the new coffee pot and set about charging the stuff that needs charged before it can be used.
(Including myself. We made one last pot of coffee in the old pot.)
My husband is already sleeping on the couch – his “post-gift-exchange-nap.” My son is busy playing with something. And the pets are all here with me near the fireplace looking peaceful, doing what they do best (sleeping).
Today will pass quickly, faster than usual. Relatives will visit. Presents will get opened. Thanks will be given. We’ll all eat more than we should and then complain about how we shouldn’t have. The adults will chat while the children play. Everyone will gear up for one more round of food even though none of us will really be ready to eat again yet. After a while, a few people will doze off only to be woken by spouses to go home or to start cleaning up.
In the hustle and bustle of it all, I think about how lucky we are to spend our holiday with our family. I think about the many Christmases we’ve missed my brother and my brother-in-law. And my grandparents and great-grandparents. And Jason’s grandparents. They might not be here with us, but they live on in our memories and traditions.
I think about all the Christmases before. Of being on the road to go see my grandparents. Of fighting with my brother before the Christmas Eve service about who got to put the baby Jesus in the creche set at church. (I loved that baby Jesus. He had a polka-dotted diaper painted on him.) Of saying a little prayer that my brother wouldn’t fall asleep at the midnight service with a lit candle in his hand. Of half hoping he’d just singe his hair as he started to nod off. Of the year that I didn’t want to use any of our ornaments on the tree because I couldn’t bear to see my brother’s. Of knowing that my grandmother had truly given up her fight with cancer. Of holding hands with my husband praying that we might finally be blessed with a baby – through whatever means God saw fit to give us one. Of holding my infant son the next year.
This is an emotionally charged time of year, but it always brings me back to thoughts of my family.
I know the holiday is the celebration of God’s promise in sending His Son to us. And I celebrate that, too.
But for me, in real terms, this is a day about family.
I love them, but I do think I will hole up for a while with a book and my coffee and enjoy the peace and quiet in this house that will be definitely not be here in just a few short hours.
Merry Christmas to you all!
*I will mention that this is the first turkey we’ve ever been responsible for making…even after better than 14 married Thanksgivings and 14 married Christmases together. I just pray it won’t end up like this:
See other Slice of Life posts today at Two Writing Teachers.