The weather for Christmas is cooperative by Mondoville standards — near 40 degrees, with a bit of windchill, but none of us are likely to leave the house, so that’s OK. I’m downstairs with Mrs. M and the Hound of the Basketballs while the Spawn squeezes out a bit more sleep.
In the last few years, Christmas is much less frantic than it used to be. Mrs. M, my parents, and I would be up until the small hours on Christmas Eve, making sure that Santa’s deliveries were appropriately presented for the Spawn (and in some years, for my brother’s daughter). And when the kids were awake (and after a decent interval so my folks could have their first of the day’s many smokes — the Spawn still associates the smell of cigarettes with Christmas), my brother, Mrs. M and I would pass out the stuff from beneath the tree, followed by openings in reverse generational order — the girls first, then my generation, and finally my folks.
Now I’m the oldest in our household — I wonder if that will ever stop feeling strange — and the Spawn will handle the distribution duties later this morning. Mrs. M already has much of the day’s feast in the staging area — her vaunted efficiency at work. In some years, perhaps, the Spawn will have children of her own, and the cycle will continue, I hope.
Wherever you are, and whether you’re having a Norman Rockwell Christmas or no Christmas at all, I hope the day brings you peace and the reminder that hope can appear in the unlikeliest of places.
Merry Christmas, one and all.