until Christmas. I just came to that realization this morning, after I discovered that I was several days behind in opening windows in my Jacquie Lawson Advent Calendar (sent to me by a good friend).
I’m busy wrapping Christmas gifts that will arrive by mail way to late for Christmas – but they were in the last box I looked in (OK, I know that’s an old joke). I didn’t expect to be sitting in Muscat on December 11 this year.
I’ve been thinking about the very different Christmas we will have this year, as we are not sure even where we will be. I’m thinking probably here until after the 25th, then flying to Norway, but really not sure of anything. As my CDs and stereo have been packed away long ago, I have bought a bit of Christmas music on iTunes and am playing it through my phone, indulging in my love of Renaissance choir music and brass ensembles (Canadian Brass, anyone?). I will try to remember to borrow a few CDs from a friend to give a bit more variety.
Warning to my children – I am telling tales here, so if you don’t want to know, stop reading NOW!
I’ve been thinking of Christmases past – the sandy ones like last year when we and two friends went to an enormous Greek Christmas party put on by a fellow I met while walking on the beach. Two years, we had family come to visit us in Kuwait (my sister Darlene and her three children the first year we were in Kuwait, and daughter Lisa with her husband and son and Aaron the second). It was really nice to have children around for Christmas. Both of those years, the celebrations included a short trip to Cairo.
Twenty-six years ago, I spent Christmas in the hospital, as my son, Aaron chose Christmas Eve to be born. He was three days early, making me miss singing at midnight mass that night (that was OK – he made his appearance at 6:35 pm, so I got a good night’s sleep). I got two Christmas dinners that year, as Aaron’s Dad cooked the turkey for all the family that had been invited in, and brought a plate to the hospital. He became the turkey-cooker from then on, as he did such a good job of it. Daughter Lisa was so excited that she told the priest that she had a brother “Just like Baby Jesus” – she was just 6 at the time. Now, this year, Aaron has a daughter of his own, only a month old come Boxing Day. Wish we could be there to join in the happy celebration.
Going back… cold Christmases… icy Christmases … one that was almost warm enough to sit outside in shirtsleeves – THAT is a rarity on the Canadian Prairies. Heather, the oldest, was always the first one up, so excited to see what Santa had brought – even when she was in university, she was the one waking up the sleepyheads. Tami, on the other hand, got up in the middle of the night, checked out her Christmas stocking, repacked it, and slept soundly, already knowing some of what she had received, and more importantly, that Santa HAD indeed come to call. It was quite funny, one year, when she got the stockings mixed up and checked Lisa’s instead of her own.
Where ever we are, Christmas this year will be OK – we have good friends and warm memories, and the world is a much smaller place than it used to be. And the love of family goes around the world much faster than Santa….. and every day of the year.