Merry xmas eve …
It’s been the most delightful of evenings.
The tree is up and lighted. The dining table cleared. Family happily ensconced with the prodigal daughter aching for the morning when she can tear through her many brightly wrapped packages.
There is something wonderful about seeing one’s 14-year-old still so excited about what Santa will bring!
I admit to a bit of excitement myself mostly because Jewish pagan that I am my investment in the holiday has its own crazy sort of quality to it that is devoid of religion–yet tied to the ideas of joy, peace and giving.
Having reclaimed the living room from writing space (the couch was my literary island for weeks at a time when I wasn’t in the basement of the Dean Street Starbucks in Brooklyn) to actual place where the family can gather, I am feeling a rising crescendo of anticipation, not so much about what loot I’ll net, but at the thought of the twinkle in my family’s eyes when they uncover the secrets within the paper, ribbons and bows that festoon their presents.
I guess that’s what it’s always about in the end. Thinking of the one thing that can bring absolute joy to another. Sometimes it is something as simple as a favorite food or the special hot chocolate that accompanies breakfast or perhaps a kind word said at just the right moment.
It all puts in mind the months I traveled through Asia on my own. I traveled light having figured out that each thing I brought with me meant that it had to be schlepped on my back–and after a while I shedded possessions as a snake would its skin, growing a new self that would only carry things that could have several uses, trading as I went for books and other nice to haves that I carried one at a time.
I also came to embrace things for what they were: moments in time that were unique and unlike any other. These experiences were serial in nature and while time certainly didn’t stand still–the days always felt longer because my experience of them was so complete.
Christmas is like that for me. It is full and every second of it feels kind of precious. A true day off from the work-a-day world where so much of it goes by without thinking, I find in the tiny red, gold, blue and green lights of the tree a kind of magic that makes me feel very alive.
Sure, the spell will be broken–but for the moment I feel at one with Santa as he drops off presents in Georgetown, Guyana.
Please accept my very best wishes to all of your this very lovely holiday night!