~:: Christmas Day ::~

So, Chaz came to stay overnight on Christmas Eve, as she always does. But she did not get up before dawn.  Neither did we.  The kids were all going to show up at about nine, so the following pictures are NOT Christmas morning, but once were, the whole family up in the dark with the lights burning fiercely outside as the excitement and joy burned just as fiercely at the hearth, where “hung” the stockings.

So I put these pictures of the lights first, to get myself in the mood, here.

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And these are the snowflakes I made with the wood. I just stuck them on the tree for fun.  And just stuck the pictures here the same way.

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Christmas morning.  Now that we’re all grown up, we get to start with breakfast. We have bacon and sausage and Mama’s fried potatoes and waffles and eggs and cracked wheat cereal.  We have orange juice and milk and hot chocolate and egg nog and we start with sweet rolls, as my Mama was wont to do. Except that this year, we bought frozen cinnamon rolls and forgot to get them out of the freezer.  So we stuck them into the oven to thaw out, hoping we’d have them not long after the end of the rest of the breakfast.

I realize that not everybody at this table is all grown up (actually, I wonder if any of us are), but the tiny ones had been up since six, and had opened their family gifts already. So no children were harmed in putting breakfast first.

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We use my grandmother’s good goblets, and the table is the richer for Laura’s mother’s pine centerpiece. Guy is the chef.

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And yes, both Andy and I should have had our eyes closed just then.

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Andy in her spanking new princess dress.  Scooter is wearing a costume, too, but he’s drowned it in rabbits at the moment.

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Andy, who had been feeling poorly for a week, still was, and got quieter and sleepier as the morning went on.  Her father, it turned out, was on the same path, and was dragging badly by the time the last gift was opened.

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Later, we’d end up with several devices out, talking to Gin and family over Face Time so they could watch us open their presents to us, and we could watch them open ours.  This kind of thing has snuck up on us so gradually that you have to take a step back so you can feel the amazing miracle of it. Yeah, they used to talk about video phones – but here we are – just doing it, like it’s normal, talking to somebody several states away, and watching their faces as they open their presents. It’s so – future.  But it feels so – the way things should be.

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No record of our family gatherings is complete without this photo: Cam wouldn’t know how to live without a lens attached to his hand.

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Okay, this picture is significant because Andy was never ever going to take off that princess dress, ever again. But when she opened my present – she DID.  Here is sick Andy with her fish.

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And Scooter – or Peter the Apostle, with matching fish.

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It was at about this point – hours into the morning, when we finally remembered that those rolls were thawing and rising in the oven.  Yeah. They were gigantic by then and pretty lurpy. But we baked ‘em anyway, and they smelled great.

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And there you have it.  I don’t have an ending image.  I’ll just have to say that it was a sweet day in spite of viruses and overblown cinnamon rolls.  It’s so odd – Christmas is just another day of the week, really – and we get together with this bunch of people every other Sunday like clockwork.  But you add the spiritual feast together with the Renaissance/Victorian visual feast, and the mysteries in the boxes, and the delighted anticipation of both giver and given-to, and the day drops out of time. Magic, every single year, if you let it be.  And I say, God bless it.  And you.  And yours.

Much love to you all.  And hope that the following year will see some sense return to the world, so that love abounds and children are safe, innocence protected and rejoiced of. That hearts will mend, spirits strengthen, the world become more healthy, arising as if from a strange sleep into the light of a new day.

Kisses!  K –

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13 Responses to ~:: Christmas Day ::~

  1. Rachel says:

    There’s so much to ‘say’ about his post but it is more of a feeling as you look at the pictures… The pictures are warm and happy and Love. They are love.

    • K says:

      You are woven through every particle of it, my dear. Thank you for being my sister/friend for almost twenty years, and for loving my children.

  2. Patti says:

    Precious memories and love! Xxxooo

    • K says:

      Kisses!! Some years it’s more joyful than others. I know people who hate that time of year, having had too much grief when there should have been joy. But I think I see it this way: grief is an indication of having had great blessings. So it’s a bass-ackwards kind of joy itself.

  3. Donna says:

    Well, I just want to be there, quietly in a corner to see it all with my very own eyes and feel it all in my very own heart.
    Love the fish and how Scooter’s matches his Peter outfit!

  4. wsw says:

    Your last paragraph – amen.

    I love your Christmas lights, the abundance of them. And how chock full of love your tree is. So many treasures to gaze at, to reflect on, to carry on. That is a perfect tree. It says ‘home’.

    Your snowflakes are wonderful! The deer look right at home in the forest. The costume and dress come to life are INCREDIBLE. And as you know, your family is beautiful. The littlest one…gah, I need more babies in my life.

    • K says:

      I am having a molasses morning. Spent at least an hour obsessing about how I’d save the dogs if there was an earthquake and the glass broke – all the little details, tossing and turning, just shy of being awake, and trying to dig deeper to dump the scares. Why do these things happen, I wonder? But I just read this and you scored the first smile of the day.

      I love those silly snowflakes. I just made a giant one. Gotta do a portrait of it. G sort of put his finger on an underlying problem with them: “Where are we going to put them?” It’s a question I’d been happily sitting on. Storage won’t be a problem, really, but it’s not like I have a giant wall someplace, or even an exposed stair rail. All I know is, it’ll be fun to answer that question when the time comes. And I still just can’t want to paint them white.

      You may share my babies. I have one coming in March and another coming in July. We are in the thick of baby-coming season, it seems. This is another stage of life that’s new – grandchildren – the ones on two feet, and the ones suddenly coming in a rain of stork feathers.

      • wsw says:

        More babies coming! Oh, this is wildly exciting. Who is expecting? You are so very kind to share your grandbabies, and this is JUST how I will get my baby-enjoyment fix. Thank you!

        Funny, it makes me think of some past Christmas letters my parent-in-laws sent and copied to us. (Maybe I already told you this – it seems likely.) One from 17 years ago mentions that I was expecting and the house was being renovated. Then there is another from 5 years ago, mentioning how I was expecting and the house was being renovated. Ha!

        Would the giant snowflake last on an outside wall?

        • K says:

          I love the thought of those letters. Sounds just like us. It’s Gin – expecting in two months, M’s L who is in the middle of the summer and my niece – we were at her house for a family dinner when M and L announced their baby – then it turned out that they had done it about five seconds before Syd was going to make the exact same announcement. The babies will be born within weeks of each other. There WILL be pictures. And my sister just sent me three KILLER shots of her brand new one – wanna see? This kid is worth looking at for hours. The soul shines through.

          The big snowflake would look killer on your barn, actually. I’d send you one, but the shipping would kill me. I’ll shoot it and show you – they’re really fun to make, but you have to invest in wood bits.

          • wsw says:

            Big hugs of congratulations all ’round. And what a funny baby announcement story. I see what you mean about the rain of stork feathers. Such blessings! And *of course* I want to see your sister’s newest little one.

            • K says:

              I’m seeing it from the outside for the first time. Last time I saw her, she just looked like any normal person, but now my girl looks VERY pregnant, and beautiful and this whole baby thing is beginning to feel very real. We’re off to do fun girl things today, evidently. So I’m directed to get myself ready to roll -

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