When said father had been provided with a cup of strong tea or coffee, and was ready to preside, the ritual began. They vied with one another to be the one to pass out the presents.Each one had a turn. We all waited while each present was opened and oohed over. Or surreptiouslyly booed. Clothing items were low on the popularity list, no matter how painstakingly selected by their grandmother. The Bean, being the youngest, despaired of ever getting “his turn to pass out!”
And now the morning is slipping away and he is still passed out. Not excited to get up and find that, contrary to his explicit wish, Santa did not gather his siblings from the four corners and assemble them under the tree, all tied up prettily with ribbons and bows.
Christmas is not so much about presents as about presence. The presence of people you love. Christmas makes me long to be around the people who know me best and love me still…………Just for Christmas, I want them all here, for my sake as much as for their “little” brother’s. I want the chatter, the arguing, the clash of opposing opinions, the hum in the air, the energy. I want to have to put the extensions on the dining room table. I want to have to round up extra chairs. I can handle the chaos in the kitchen, the mess of dishes. No problem.
But “to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Not to mention thousands of miles. I guess my season for munchkins at daybreak is over. I put my time in, and in my saner moments I know I wouldn’t want to go back. Not unless I went, armed once again, with youth and energy and lots and lots of stamina!
We had a very pleasant day. The OC is home. He even devised a surprise for the Bean that kept him happily busy for most of the afternoon. Under the heading of “some assembly required!” We are grateful to Mr. Alexander Graham Bell on whose ingenious invention we spent a good portion of the day, yakking ---to Columbus, California and Ireland. We didn’t have to shovel any snow. The sky was blue, the air balmy.
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon virgin mother and child,
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Slee-eep in hea-ven-ly peace.