This morning, when I arose, the temperatures were -28C. Other than taking the dogs out for a walk, I intend to spend little time outdoors today, never mind that the Wicked Winter Sun beckons and beguiles! He is a trickster; there is little warmth in his long, golden fingers.
It is the Christmas Season. There are more gifts for me to find as yet, but with the Arctic front which has us full in its grip, I will not travel into town this day.
Instead, I will organize the gifts I have. This year, I plan to wrap nicely, with thoughtful touches here and there, on each gift. I plan to wrap nicely every year...but more often than not, I end up wrapping on Christmas Eve, with great haste and not much flair.
Also on the radar is the baking I want to take with me to the family on the Coast. Sometimes, my bars and cookies and tarts look a little bedraggled after the long trip in the backseat of our car. So this year, I have decided only nutty caramel popcorn and chocolate fudge will make the journey. But I will tuck in a few butter tarts for my daughter for whom the confection spells Christmas.
Oh! There are moments when I am so excited to be visiting the Coast, I remind myself of my childhood years. This will be the first time I have ever spent Christmas morning in my daughter's home. Usually, we arrive later in the day. Instead, this year we will be travelling to the Coast on Christmas Eve, arriving late...but we will be there!
This is the first year Graydon will be truly aware of Santa Claus at his grand old age of almost three. I am looking forward to telling him stories about Santa, reading countless books to him, and just snuggling with his warm little body.
I haven't seen Bree since the summer. We travelled to the Coast for Thanksgiving in October, but she was entered in a Soccer Tournament in Victoria that weekend. She will be celebrating her birthday on December 20, which we will miss, only to make up for it when we arrive.
This will be her fifteenth birthday. Can anyone tell me where the time goes? It seems like only yesterday when it was Brianna who wanted stories about Santa, who wanted to sing and dance to Christmas music.
Bree is growing up...I am not as sure of her as I was when she was younger. Her interests are so diverse, many out of my realm of experience. But, as usual, no matter how anxious I am before I see her, love transcends all...and we chatter together just like a pair Magpies within minutes of seeing each other!
It doesn't seem to matter how old my family gets...every year, at Christmas, I can still see the youngster in my daughter. Her eyes sparkle with delight over visitors, food, entertaining and yes, even over presents. Just as they did when she was Graydon's age.
I've heard it said that Christmas brings out the child in everyone. And if it does, then to me this is one of the greatest reasons to celebrate a holiday such as this. Perhaps, if adults could grasp hold of their child within once a year...they may remember how joyful childish things can be...and continue on throughout the year.
If adults could grasp the Christmas Spirit and hold it deep within their hearts, every day of the year, if our leaders could re-member their childhoods, no matter their religion...I wonder if the World would be in the trouble it is in.
If we all re-membered what it feels like to give freely and with joy, if we all re-membered childish anticipation, would we take as easily? Perhaps grasping greed would not be as prevalent, if we could only remember how a child gives...with his whole heart.
But I realize I'm naive. I realize, as well, not everybody can remember wonderful Christmases. And I wish for all those who did not have the memories I have, that they will make good, solid remembrances over the coming years. And that they will contact that deep part of oneself, where anticipation, excitement and joy still exists, even if there are bad memories of a long ago childhood gone wrong.
As cold as it is outside, I believe I will create warmth and gaiety inside today. Fudge making is on the horizon...how could it be Christmas without fudge? And oh...those butter tarts...can't forget those! The scent they produce in the oven will transport me right back to all the Christmases past.
Back to when my children were small, back to when I hid the gifts, back to when I volunteered at the Soup Kitchen, back to when our family swelled to include four foster boys who needed a home for Christmas, back to when we all sang the Christmas songs loudly and with great gusto on our way to my mother's home...
It's all about creating wonderful experiences and then... re-membering them year after year...
I don't believe I could have a better day!