I picked up my sister and brother in law from the airport on Friday night (a couple hours later than planned due to a lost bag incident). They are in town from Montreal area to celebrate Christmas with us.
I picked them up, as I have done so many times before, well after 10 pm. We loaded into the car and headed for “home” knowing that there would be a spread on the table of crackers and cheeses and pickles and sausages (from the hole-in-the-wall with the good kielbasa) and cider/beer chilling in a cooler in the garage. We had our drinks, our snack, and all retired for the evening.
Christmas-eve-morning we sat and drank coffee (with Bailey’s) then headed out for some last minute shopping. We did a long walk in Fort Langley and hit a brewery we hadn’t yet tried. We had our traditional seafood feast for Christmas Eve dinner. Christmas morning was coffee (with Bailey’s), impossible bacon pie, the slow unwrapping of gifts, a snack that matched Friday night (now with the welcome addition of Christmas baking), and a huge turkey dinner. I skedaddled for a few hours to visit my boyfriend’s family in Richmond where they were doing much of the same things.
My point is that Christmas is seeped in tradition with my family. Our Christmas day looks much the same now as it did 25 years ago. The same foods, the same rhythms. Christmas is a rhythm for me. A familiar pattern that repeats itself each year.
And I love it.
At Christmas I do not want the unique. I want to feel my loved ones all around me. I want to sit and chat and laugh (and eat). There is magic in this time of year. A magic that comes from love, and family, and repeated patterns. It is in the lights of the tree as the reflect on the wall. It is in the friends that gather. It is in the games that we play and the music we sing.
My boyfriend convinced my sister and I to head to midnight mass with him on Christmas Eve. We three are all agnostic’s but we wanted to hear the Christmas story, take a moment of peace to reflect. We sang hymns and carols and the mass ended with a candlelit walk out of the church as a hundred people raised their voices, singing Silent Night. It was a powerful moment.
Christmas will change over the years. It will grow and shift. I hope that sometime soon we (my sister, me, one of us, or both) will have little ones running around, making the quiet morning of coffee and chatter infinitely more chaotic. I don’t expect that every year we will be together – but I hope that, for many, we are.
I am sitting this morning, watching the snow fall, my Christmas jammies still on, the Anne of Green Gables scarf my Dad gave me wound around my neck. I am reflecting on these past few days of peace, these upcoming days of crazy fun, and I am hoping that all of you have some of the same moments this magical season.
Love you all,