It’s raining here on this marvelous Christmas Eve Eve, but I am busy looking at recent pictures of sunny (if cold) days with good friends and loved ones. Yes, I am missing my family back home, as well as the “things” that make every Christmas, well, Christmas: the smell of Dad’s cinnamon rolls in the oven, Mom’s masterful decorations, and my brother’s homemade wooden star illuminating the second floor window of my parents’ room.
I’m remembering Christmas mornings spent swimming in wrapping paper, then a ritual phone call to Kate across the neighborhood. “What kind of loot did you get,” we’d ask each other every year, even when we grew too old to refer to presents as “loot.” One year Kate answered, “You won’t believe it! I got a kitten!” and, to our surprise, I answered, “Me too!” Hallie and Howie: twin kittens from the same litter, shared between best friends.
I’m thinking of Christmas hikes with the family and the year my Dad and I spotted two fox cubs from horseback. Racing across a snow-covered pasture, they were too busy chasing each others’ tails to notice we were close enough to chase them!
Gregorian chants on the stereo, and the soothing voice of NPR’s Christmas DJ announcing church choirs from across the country.
Too much chocolate before breakfast.
Bryce and I taking turns opening presents: a ritual that took more and more time over the years, as we relished each present with the understanding that when it was over the tree just wouldn’t look the same again.
Christmas cinnamon roll deliveries across the neighborhood…then a giant brunch a la Dad: eggs and turkey sausage and home fries and toast with butter and honey. Too much.
It’s that time of year again, and I am far away from home. But it’s AWESOME THINGS THURSDAY so I’m looking forward to the new traditions that are yet to be made! Meanwhile, here are a few in the making:
— Sending Christmas Cards from France: Joyeux Noel to the USA!
–Actually doing Christmas shopping in a city: much easier than going to the mall
–The smell of Christmas trees in the streets
–Signs for Vin Chaud everywhere. Everywhere.
— Buying Big-As-My-Hand Gingerbread Men for the nieces and nephews!
— Enlisting Nicolas to help me dig sticky caramels out of the pan
— Enlisting Nicolas to help me form sticky bourbon balls, and watching his face as he tastes the straight Kentucky whiskey. (“Je ne suis pas trop fan!”) I agree that it’s better in 1000-calorie morsels.
–Watching You’ve Got Mail and Home Alone on my computer, in English. Something about those old movies…
Nicolas and Geoffroy
Good Friends: Taya, Sara, and I