Merry Christmas

It’s early on Christmas morning and the house is quiet. I’m waiting to hear the sound of children waking and whispering and giggling with excitement as they anticipate the day to come. I’m waiting to hear their feet pound their way down the stairs as they come racing to see their stockings and gifts. I’m waiting to see the joy and anticipation in their faces.

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I know I’m mostly waiting in vain, though, because I know those days have passed. In previous years the Christmas Eve discussion was, “How early can we get up?” This year it was, “How late can we sleep in?” It’s a funny thing to see your children grow up and to remember the way things used to be. It’s a funny thing to have to begin to create a new normal, to make old, comfortable traditions fit a new, less-comfortable context. I liked the way things were. But I think I like the way things are, as well. At least, I can come to like it.

Our day will consist of stockings and a special breakfast and gifts and a recovery period for having eaten too much breakfast. Then Aileen’s folks will come over later in the day to join us for a Christmas feast. And then we’ll be done another Christmas for another year. Though the family is a bit older and the traditions a little changed, I’m sure it will be just as precious as ever.

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas.