When my two sons were children, the perfect Christmas for us was spent in our own house. They’d get out of bed early and play all day with their gifts that were toys. I’d listen to the stack of new CDs I’d received, and my husband and I would sip on B&B liqueur while a chicken roasted. Only once or twice did we have extended family with us for the meal, and we enjoyed that, but the main thing was that we didn’t have to scurry around in the morning or any time of day to get ready to go somewhere. The kids didn’t have to leave the new things they were so excited about. It was a leisurely day, filled with riches.
This year on Christmas morning, the boys were in town at Everett’s with their dad; Scott was helping his mom prepare a turkey for the supper she was having at “the family compound” down the road; and I woke up at my sister’s house with the dogs and cat for company. There were no new CDs but my ex, who’d driven from the Edmonton area, had brought me a bottle of B&B the day before and I’d been invited to my nephew’s, just a mile or two away, for coffee and pancakes. I picked up my aunt Shirley from her house (which used to be Grandma & Grandpa’s) in Margo, and we arrived at my nephew’s just as the young family was opening gifts.
It was a lovely, relaxed Christmas morning. Later I drove over to Golden Grain Farm and Scott and I went to town to spend an hour with the boys and their dad before joining Scott’s family for supper. Then I made my way back to my sister’s through the dark countryside, lit from the bottom by white snow laying on the stubblefields and blowing across the roads. The three little dogs were excited, as always, to be let out of the porch and I laughed when they ran barking out the front door and dashed to the end of the driveway as if something out there needed to be warned off. Dogs! They mean business, and none are cuter than Karen’s three.
I stepped on the button that turned on the lights of the Christmas tree, poured some B&B into a crystal glass, let the beasts back inside and parked myself in a chair to cuddle with their furryness. The cat, looking down from the loft where I would ascend to sleep, would wait till later for its turn.