Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Days of Christmas

Christmas day after Christmas, or even two or three days later, is a good idea. We did this at least once before, and it remains one of my happier recollections of a holiday well celebrated... it was relaxed, unrushed, there was time to take deep breaths, and take notice of the small and big things that matter most, like family, friends, time. This year, once Maria was out of school, we took some of those deep breaths, and started to bring our attention to family time, to home, nature, and play, and by reclaiming the calendar, we regained an easier, more comfortable rhythm.

Ha! Ha! All of that talk about calm and serenity, before I launch into a description of December 26th when we wildly ripped into opening gifts and chugging hot chocolate! Okay, "wildly" isn't an apt description, since we are striclty a one gift at a time family, and likely each gift is going to get passed around, admired. We might read an excerpt from the new book, or give the gyroscope a test spin, or two. We love exchanging gifts, and we love sharing them, playing with them, immersing ourselves, and squealing in delight and appreciation. And we were as excited for the cats' pleasure and amusement, as our own. The kitties were in the thick of it with us, a joy into itself. Unto itself? Into unto.
Do I say this every year? About gifts, and sharing, about how eventually things wind down, and we are reading books, assembling LEGO, on the phone to loved ones... I take pleasure in the sameness, in the scenes familiar and normal. Normal, especially in recent years, is a blessing. Normal is the new Awesome. Give us warm flannel, and leftovers! We are home, with cats and ribbons, Zoo passes, and Nat King Cole! This is bliss. Merry Christmas!

And now? Now are the really blessed days, when we lose track of... is it Monday? Is tomorrow the 28th or the 29th? Things get fuzzy. We build more LEGO, break down boxes, roll up ribbon, watch one more movie. We got two more of us boosted. And rain! So much rain. It did dampen some plans, though not as much as Omicron. Eight days after the events, we received two school notifications of Maria having had two exposures to COVID, and these besides the one we deduced for ourselves. Sigh.

Ok. And when I say "Ok," you should hear me taking in a deep breath, and it sounds like resolve, like renewed commitment to moving forward, to finding all of the silver linings, pretty things, happy moments. Okay! Outdoors, between showers. Outdoors with chickens and goats, and looking closer at the garden beds, neglected though they are. But noticing what's blooming, in spite of the neglect, and willing myself to imagine digging around, pulling weeds. Outside, hanging with a friend, making plans, starting a new project, finishing the unfinished ones, too.
My next post... I want to write about how I would celebrate my birthday if. If it weren't raining, if there weren't a pandemic, if everyone could take time off from work, if I weren't self-consciously shy, reluctant, insecure. I want to imagine simple, and elaborate, possibly improvident, but certainly not wasteful, slightly lavish events, yet deeply meaningful, maybe even transcendent. I am formulating a hope, a belief that if I devise some plans, envision possibilities, I will be prepared, the groundwork will be laid for excellent celebrations for years to come! And, I want to post about bulbs and gardens, and the promise of Spring, of later. There is so much I want to do, to believe.


Ruth said...

Merry Christmas!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Merry Christmas, Ruth. And Happy New Year... a year when we can be together more often, with fewer worries, fewer obstacles. A year when we can make travel plans, and celebrate some milestones in our family.

Janece said...

I've been craving those melting chocolates for making hot chocolate or homemade mochas... Where do you get yours and what are your favorites?

Ada - woolly, woolly girl. I love you!

The chicas look like they are on an important mission... with a deep purpose.

Forever love Cairo and his royal whiskers and brows.

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Janece, I stick with Ibarra, and I find it many markets, including El Nopalito, Stater Bros, Ralphs, and others. It's so delicious, and we were delighted to realize that the chocolate is vegan, and that it comes out "the best" (actual quote from the young folks) when I make it with Oatly Milk, or the Trader Joe Brand, which is creamier.
Ada is woolly woolly lovable!
Chica mission is food and sun! Mine, too, come to think of it!
And Cairo, and all the kitties have been dutifully acting like living heat pads, purring and snuggling, almost on demand. I hope it's the same with your fur babies!

Janece said...

Yesterday in Pt Loma - I found Ibarra at Stump's Market! I was so excited. Thank you for the quick list of where I can find it locally in the future!

Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

Great! Now, i am going to be thinking of hot chocolate, and I wonder how soon it will be before I can't resist making some more.