25 December 2016

On Christmas

Our Tree
As our Christmas Eve celebration drew to a close last night, The RM announced that the Christmas morning festivities would begin promptly at 8:00AM. He was as serious about that statement as I've ever seen him. Since he was a wee one, he has been our primary Elf on Christmas day and apparently after two years of missing out on his duties, he was prepared to take them most seriously.

Sufficiently warned, we took to our beds, thinking we'd close our eyes for just a moment in order to do the things Santa proxies do. We were wrong, as that moment turned into a full night's sleep. I awoke and did my Sunday morning thing, including two crosswords, a shave and a shower, when it dawned on me that A) we'd not done our duty as Santa proxies and the tree was looking pretty barren and 2) it was uncomfortably close to 8:00AM. I roused the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML from her slumber and we quickly got things taken care of before The RM woke up.

He woke up shortly before the appointed hour and he was immediately agitated concerned that not every one was manning their battle stations, as it were. We woke CAL and we proceeded downstairs to first see what had made its way into our stockings (Poo Pouri was a big hit with one of us! Guess who?). Then our six year old, I mean twenty one year old, insisted we get to the main event - the opening of the presents. Although he ceded the "Elf" role (gift distributor) to me because I was closest to the tree, he directed it (my pacing was no good so I think I will not be reprising my role). Even as a young adult, his reactions were classic. For CAL, most of her gifts were shipped to her place behind the Zion Curtain - lots of things to stock your new adult world. For the stunningly patient and mighty fine SML and I, the joy of Christmas came in having two-thirds of our children with us. It has been simply wonderful. Simply wonderful.

As we gathered at Church later in the day for a brief service, I ruminated over the the third verse of the carol, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,"

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

and I was saddened that there is little peace in our world and hate is strong and sadly is only going to get stronger under the hate-based regime of the newly elected Fuhrer President of the United States, but I did see hope today. I saw it in my children, sat beside my wife and I as we worshipped. I saw it in the joy we felt as we opened our presents this morning. I saw it earlier this week as we relished being surrounded by dear friends during an all too quick visit to Chicago. Also earlier this week, I saw so much good as people from near and far rallied to help another dear friend find her missing father (delighted to report that it turned out beautifully).

So, yes, there is good in this world and there is yet reason to hope. Merry Christmas, my friends.

We missed these guys, but they're having a sweet Christmas
celebration behind the Zion Curtain

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