We celebrate Christmas on the Eve with my family. It is a quieter affair, with smoked salmon, pierogies + boeuf bourguignon (always), Christmas story reading, stockings (each item, no matter how small, yields an appreciative "ooohhhhHHH" so this is a very long, very humourous ordeal). Once our daughter reluctantly goes off to sleep clutching her bear, the adults will sit together, listening to Mahalia Jackson tell us what her heart knows about Christmas, then get lost in our own thoughts about Christmas Eve's gone by. Mine will stray to that magical Christmas Eve in Innsbruck, or to the first Christmas spent with my boyfriend (now husband) when he gave me the Led Zeppelin box set (uh huh) and Coco Chanel. We will miss my Mom.
Once Santa visits (usually around 11pm...odd), we will wake our girl up and she will be bleary-eyed and searching for proof of his visit, grilling us on the details. Her heart's desire will be wrapped in shimmery paper and this will quell any more discussion. For now.
And it will be beautiful.
The next day, we'll spend it with my husband's family. It's a large family so everything will be a little, MORE. Many presents, many people, many stories, many memories.
And it will be beautiful.
I am more grateful than I could ever express that I get to be with two families where there is love. In several different homes where there is food and light and heat. Where there are happy, healthy children.
In fact, I feel a little overcome by it all.
So today, as I charge around, picking up last minute things for the "ooohhhhHHHs" of the stockings, pop in to visit friends for some cheer, and try not to fret that the (PERFECT) gift I found for my husband seems to be stuck at the US-Canadian border, I will keep checking my look in the mirror to make sure what I'm feeling in my heart is found in a smile on my lips.
I am also grateful to you, Dear One. That I get to do the work I get to do is an honour. That I get to write to this blog (and that you read it and love it and tell me in your comments, in your emails, and with your subscriptions) makes my heart fuller still.
So, until we meet on the other side of Boxing Day, here's my Christmas wish list for you:
- That you set your intentions for how you want these holidays to be, so that there are no regrets.
- That you have it be easy.
- That you enjoy being as gracious of a receiver as you are a giver.
- And once again, that your days are filled with warmth and love; that your mind is filled with curious wonder; and, that your heart is filled with joy.
Wishing you peace, elation + hydration (that smoked salmon can be a doozy).