Oh wait! Pre-boarding on the Christmas train was an e-reader from my boss (it is difficult to balance the thoughtfulness of a fantastic gift with my day-to-day discontent in the job) and an incredible meal of Spanish tapas with Karen. We ate. so. much. And laughed even more. I can't even explain...
Back at the parents' - church visit to see delightful friends on Sunday. Coffee with cute-as-a-button-Baby-Makaela and her mom.
Christmas tree decorating.
Sound of Music and tree decorating with Grampie. Love him fiercely. Also love that movie fiercely. Sleep. Sweet sleep
Oil change for the borrowed car while I visit with my sister and read and lounge. It's handy having a mechanic in the family!
Dishes and gift-wrapping and Christmas Eve service and snuggles with the kidlets and a gift trade with another friend who always makes me laugh.
Panettone and hot chocolate, the Peruvian Christmas treat. A tour of the neighbourhood lights. Sleep.
Christmas morning is slow and simple; make scones, put on the cider, help prep for dinner. I curl up on the couch and read a few Advent-related blogs on my phone's tiny screen. This prayer/poem pretty much sums up everything my heart feels.
Father, give us Christ.
Crack our darkness.
Send the rain to heal our deadness.
Only you make dry bones rise,
Dim the blinding lights that hide
Our fear, until we're still enough
To feel the thaw of icy hearts.
In stable and by starlight
Overthrow our every expectation.
Our world inverts
Your kingdom comes.
After lunch, I go downstairs and play cribbage with Grampie. I win three games in a row...and wonder if maybe he is too old for me to play wholeheartedly against. Is it worse to beat him or let him win? We have fun, winner and loser.
Everyone else arrives and we eat (and eat) and then the Christmas story and then the gifts, and it is two parts chaos and one part perfect and it is time for little ones to leave all-too-soon, and I make my brother play the game I gave him (it is very fun) and when everyone is gone I sit by the tree and wonder how it's over already.
On Boxing Day, we always go to Grandma's. Five hours of travel (round-trip) for a five hour visit. Today, it ends up 7 hours of travel for a five hour visit. Is it worth it? YES. Always yes. There is food in copious amounts. There is laughter, there are cousins, and there is crokinole. There is also Spoons - I manage to avoid a single letter!
I decide not to travel back to Toronto at 1am, so I call (email) in late to work, hit the road at 8am, and voila. Ten o'clock finds me back at my desk.
It goes so fast. It always goes so fast.
You may notice that this recap doesn't contain much Jesus-related content. As someone who loves Jesus and does celebrate his birthday, I would like there to have been more. But you know what? There wasn't. And I'm not going to pretend otherwise, because the only thing worse than neglecting something/someone I love is lying about it to save face.