Friday, December 24, 2010

Silent Night

It's 2:00 in the morning on Christmas Day. I sit in a dark living room basking in the colored, blinking lights of the Christmas tree. Our vintage train set with its more modern snowy village encircles the tree, and piles of presents are haphazardly strewn around the platform, looking enticing and mysterious. "Santa" has paid a visit and bulging stockings with wish-fulfilling presents propped against them are arranged on the couch, waiting for morning when they will be admired and enjoyed. In the dining room the table is set for our anticipated sweet roll breakfast with red, green, and silver dishes and decorations. The house is quiet, except for a ticking clock and an occasional sigh or snore from my sleeping family. I should be asleep too, because tomorrow will be a long and active day of gifts, food, and family. Usually I fall exhausted into bed on Christmas Eve when everything is finally ready for Christmas morning to come, but tonight I just want to enjoy this perfect time between preparing for the big day and diving into the festivities.

It's been a rough year for me with serious health concerns coming thick and fast for the last nine months. Most of it is behind me now and so many results have been positive, but I am worn out from the fight and it took an extra effort to get all of the Christmas preparations done this year. The kids and Ed have put up with enough anxiety about me in the last few months, I didn't want to skimp on any of our traditions or seem unable to celebrate the season with the usual enthusiasm. And anyway, I love Christmas and truly enjoy our traditions, most of which I started and have encouraged over the years. I didn't want to miss any of it. And now I want to stay right here, savoring the perfection of the moment, knowing that whatever happens tomorrow and in the coming months I will have the memory of this time in between preparation and celebration. But sleepiness is overtaking me so I make my way to bed, looking forward to similar Christmases, each with their own unique perfection, for many years to come.