Just us this year. We sent our love in bubble wrap and told it boisterous and unstudied and tongue-tripping, giggling, all-at-once on speakerphone.
It’s a big change for me. Growing up as an only-child in a big extended family, Christmas was always a time for…well, family. For the crowds and the loud kisses landed on cheeks, for catching up and cozy chats with cousins. Usually, I miss it big. But I’ve come to embrace this life on the West–drink it in deep, the way I used to watch the sunset linger for forever as I went streaking airborne coast-to-coast, chasing all the suns of my childhood to the place where they sink down. Today, I drank deep.
There were smiles, of course, and piles of wrapping paper I have no idea what I’ll do with because there’s no way it’s all going to fit in that big, blue recycling bin. Maybe I’ll use muslin next year? Maybe not. There’s nothing quite like the determination in a baby’s eye as he wraps his little fist around that brightly colored paper, gives his wrist a yank, and hears that satisfying rip.
Nothing like the smile of a blossoming writer receiving her first typewriter.
Chocolate-covered smirks. Saucy eggs. Sugar-coated sillies. With brussels sprouts sauteed to caramelized perfection and burnt sugar custards for dessert. A sip of wine by the fireside and good night kisses all around. We turn the final page of the read-aloud, sigh of satisfaction in every heart as we nod heads in agreement and smile big, glad, grateful.
“God bless us, every one.”
Near or far, many or few, here’s wishing you the joy that knows no bounds.