Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

I’ve been through so many! I’ve gone through Christmas Eves when there was fog (79), when there were stormy clouds around me ( 98, 99…), when there was such cold, only to become even colder in the weeks after (84), when there was too much snow and so nothing was easy (66), and it was especially difficult to find a tree to bring home (67), when all bad things happened to others but I thought that I was somehow spared (77), when it seemed that life was unfair just because a toy could not be put together easily (86).

This morning, I got up early enough to watch the night recede. Looking out, I knew that this would be the year of gentle, pretty snow.

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The kind that clings to every twig. The kind that does well if left undisturbed. Sensitive, delicate snow.

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We started the day as every year: at Hubbard Avenue Diner.

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Surely it is possible to have a quiet Christmas – a no fuss Christmas.

Ours is not a quiet, no fuss Christmas. Which means that the day before has no pockets of idleness.

For someone raised in a family that could not decide how it felt about any holiday celebration, and now, finding myself in the company of someone who feels no ambiguity at all but chooses instead to ignore holidays and grunt at the mere mention of them, I’ve gone in a different direction: I love these handful of days and all the possible ways they can bring together people, food, music and lights: You like the spiritual dimension? It’s yours. You’re a food nut? Cook up a feast. Thinking of others brings you satisfaction? Give of yourself – this is your day! Music – that’s your joy? Wow, you’ve got choices.

It’s a beautiful time.

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