Tuesday, December 30, 2003

I'd like to wrap this year's Christmas up in a box with shiny paper and give it to you. There were exactly 24 hours of drama, and I got them out of the way nearly a week ahead of time. After that it was all cookies, companionship, laughter and lights.

No Christmas post would be complete without a catalog of gifts, so here it is: I got tools for the kitchen and the workshop, a couple of Sarah Susanka books I've been craving, and a flannel quilt that Christie made for me. It's soft, warm, made of rich, masculine colors, and makes me very happy. Quilts, like good furniture, are one of those things that seem to live primarily in the past, handed down or found at a swap-meet, maybe occasionally purchased new for exhorbitant prices, but so rarely coming from the hands of people we know. It's a nice reminder that history is still happening. On the giving front, I gave a pretty wide assortment, from an Airzooka and book for my brother to a sketchpad and colored pencil set for Christie, along with a case I built for them. Pictures of the case and quilt will show up soon, I promise.

But the gifts, so dominant in the preparations for Christmas, were peripheral at best. The real joys were experiential, like joining my parents for their traditional Christmas Eve trip to Pryde's (what's not to love about kitchen stuff and complementary margaritas), or watching my niece and nephew banter/bicker over pizza before they headed off to their choir concert. Christie squeezing my hand when we crested the hill on Wornall, and the Plaza lights came into view, or the way she held her program up to her mouth while she sang hymns at my parents' church. It took a while for my to find my niche, but in the end, I fell into the season the same way I found my key in the third verse of "Gloria In Excelsis Deo", and my singing went from labored and self-conscious to a simple, joyful noise.

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