We all gather at my parents house on the evening of Christmas. Simply because we have not spent nearly enough time together over the past eight weeks. We bask in the glow of the tree lights. If you are lucky enough you sit where a red bulb will cast a rosy hue to your pale skin and you perhaps look marginally rested. There are those who sit within a yellow bulb which only emphasizes the dark circles under their eyes. Then the most unfortunate who end up near a green or blue bulb... there you sit looking like The Return of the Chocolate Shop Zombie Part 2.
We were a somber lot this year. Less in number with our families growing and changing and no little ones to bring the Santa excitement. All a year older, this Christmas chocolate season seemed to suck the energy out of us collectively. We smiled, we laughed and were all exhausted.
Papa was parked in his usual Christmas chair. There he sat pleased to have his family and good friends there to help celebrate. At the same time thinking, "When are all of you going to leave so I can go to sleep?". There are twenty something stockings hanging down the bannister. A joyous sight to behold. We eat, we drink, we laugh and tell stories. We pick on each other. (Even on Christmas). There is not a space to be had on furniture or floor. It is how we spent our first evening off in two months.
It is faint at first and you are not sure where it comes from. This year we identify the source as a sister who shall remain unnamed. The first Christmas cough. It rings through the house like a Christmas Carole. It is familiar and you know it is only a matter of time before you get to join in.
The joy of giving at Christmas. There are no little feet to blame this particular gift on this year. This little gem found it's way to us through some other petri dish. Perhaps in church on Christmas Eve, or passed through a quick hug from a friend or relative. The gift that keeps on giving.
The last week has been spent nursing our way through this Christmas cold and getting much needed rest. It has set us a little behind as though it did not want us to rush to quickly toward the holiday of love.
We wish you all a beautiful New Year full of less sniffles and tissues than how ours has started. May you be blessed with good health, good friends and family to share it with and enough money to keep a roof over your head, food on your table, clothes on your back and a little extra for the finer things in life... like chocolate. ;) Peace.