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Christmas All Together

December 24, 2003

Tonight my family will be spending Christmas Eve together. All four of us girls will be home. Itís been a couple days of craziness, and Iím exhausted, but I know Iíll be feeling fantastic in a bit.

When I lived in New Hampshire, I used to have this dream every ChristmasÖ I would be driving into to the farm with my back seat loaded with brightly-wrapped packages, ready to spend Christmas with the family. It never happened, but I always dreamed about it.

Perhaps that is why, to this day, that is my ideal. Never mind that itís much simpler to have several ďmini ChristmasesĒ to spread out the work and make things less crowded and chaotic. Never mind that I hate wrapping gifts with a passion and always postpone it till the last possible moment. Never mind that the days before Christmas seem to pass in a haze of stress and exhaustion.

At some point, itís all done. And we have Christmas. And this year I will drive into the farm with my backseat loaded with gifts. And my nieces and nephews will come tumbling out to meet me if they got there first. Otherwise, it will be the other way around. There will be lots of noise and laughter and trying to convince the younger kids that, yes, we do have to eat supper before we can open gifts!

And then we will crowd into the living room that never seems tiny until there are over a dozen of us trying to squeeze in there. Somehow, it will work. And one of the kids will read the Christmas story while the youngest squirm eagerly, straining towards the tree and piles of presents, even though they are old enough to be patient. (Who is patient on Christmas, anyway?) Then there will be mass confusion, flying wrapping paper and excited squeals and thank yous for a short while. 

And then the tree will be bare underneath, but the floor will be thick with paper and ribbons and bows. The kids will drift away, singly or in groups, to enjoy their gifts. The adults will take stock of their own gifts, taking time to admire each otherís, and then wander around to get a better look at what the kids got, sometimes settling confusion over who got what from whom.

Eventually it will start to quiet down. Some will leave, some will wander off to beds, others will simply fall asleep wherever they happen to land. And we will all drift off with a smile, thinking of how much fun we hadóan anticipating a quieter, more relaxed Christmas Day as we go our separate ways.

Yep, sounds like the makings for a perfect Christmas to me. I canít wait!