The work is done. The weeks and weeks of shopping and cooking and running and planning. It starts in early November in preparation for Tee’s birthday, and continues right up until, well until today.
The last-minute things were picked up yesterday: candy and nuts for stockings, a hostess gift for my soon-to-be-sister-in-law, something extra for Gee. I stayed up until midnight last night wrapping and cooking and cleaning, knowing that I wouldn’t want to be doing it today. I stopped into the grocery store on my way home, to pick up enough milk and fruit and vegetables to carry us through until the stores re-open. And now I’m home. Home, my favourite place in the world.
This morning, the kids came to work with me and hung out with my colleagues’ kids – about 40 of them in all. The day was full of games and crafts and food and music, and ended with a visit from one of the many, many Santa’s they’ve seen this year (I may have a rant on that another time, but right now is not that time).
Right now is for coasting. Right now is for pouring a drink, and lighting the tree, and listening to my daughters sing and play, giddy in anticipation of what is to come.
One of my earliest memories is of going into our kitchen when I was about 3 years old, after all the presents were unwrapped and the mandarin oranges eaten, and confiding to my mother my enormous disappointment that Christmas was over. That after waiting and dreaming for a whole year, the thing passed by in a rush of tissue paper and ribbon and a few shortbread cookies for breakfast. I don’t remember her reply actually, but now I realize how immensely sad she must have been to know that for me Christmas was only about the presents. I don’t remember her words, but whatever she said must have been the right thing, because as far as I can remember, ever since that day, I’ve never felt the same. As far back as I can recall, I’ve understood that Christmas is really a season, albeit one that can involve a lot of work, and a fair amount of stress as well.
But now, that is all behind. Now it is about enjoying the moments (and a few rummy egg-nogs). I’m so happy to have arrived at this place.
Merry Christmas to everyone. Peace, love and joy to us all.