We got the tree up. There it stood in all of its glory for a week. I ran by it on my way out the door or to the kitchen many times. Each time I wondered at leaving it as it stands in equal protest and celebration. Protest at the hustle of the holidays and celebration of the beauty of simple things. Just a beautiful tree scented with the memories of Christmas past, present and future.
This year I broke the family tradition for Christmas day and just bought presents for everyone. Generally we have a long drawn out "conversation" about how to do gifts. Names from a hat, only the kids, no gifts...we have done it all. But this year, for some reason, I avoided all conversation about it and simply did what I wanted to do. The idea of selecting a gift for each person to be present on the day appealed to me. Perhaps because I spend so much of my time in selfish activity I felt a need to give back. Perhaps I just lost my mind in the whirl of the shopping experience. However it happened, it was easy and not the enormous hassle I anticipate every year. I made a list, checked it twice and in a few hours ladened with packages, arrived home. As I wrapped each gift considering the recipient, I was happy. I found myself smiling as I taped up the corners, relished the bows, made tags and stacked the packages up. I consciously decided not to worry about the unwrapping reaction but rather on the giving...the connection that a gift makes.
It was a good start to bringing in the holidays. Then, before I had a chance to shop for food my very lovely friend Bill arrived from LA via Burma. Although the MO shop was still open and there were THINGS TO BE DONE! I played a bit of hookey and just walked away from my routine. We went shopping in Newtown for boy stuff and crystals...lunch and paint...magazines and t-shirts...posters and gelato! It was fun. Fun to be on the streets moving synchronistically through the shops. Even the most resistent shoppers were well behaved, except when they were getting photographed!
There is something magical about the markets which are full of fresh and wonderful food as well as people from every culture in the world. We filled our trolley until it was hard to push with beautiful ripe mangos and cherrys, herbs and ham, onion, garlic, potatoe and so much more!
The best part are the flowers... heaps and heaps of flowers to choose from and if you go at the end of the morning they are all on sale!
But after the effort of the markets and then the unpacking without eating it all we packed the family in the car, picked up Bill and Victor and headed to Palm Beach for some seriuos napping on the sand!
It will never cease to amaze me how this guy can do this!
He will happily lie in the sand with no towel. It is to me the modern version of a hair shirt but...whatever. It is who he is.
The sky which had been cloudy most of the day cleared in an instant and left us with a perfect afternoon at the beach. Victor, visiting here from Germany got treated to a bit of seaside photo sculpture!
With the wind, sea and salt in our hair we arrived home to find Cheeky in her new favourite spot. She knows very well she is not allowed on this bed on the verandah. However, when I find her here she snuggles her nose into the pinkness of the cushions as if to say, "but I am a girl also and need pretty things near me all the time!" That tail was nervously thumping as she considered how long she could get away with her beloved position...just long enough for the photo.
So...the tree is now decorated, the ham cooked and the turkey thawed. Packages are all bought and wrapped and the rest will soon be merry history! Wishing you and your families a day of smiles and laughter, handshakes and hugs, good food, lively conversation and full bellies! It is but a day... a day to stop and simply enjoy like a dog on the bed of life! Happy days...always...more please. love, k