Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas Eve

Yesterday was both happy and bittersweet. We got up late and headed in to our favourite truck stop for breakfast. We relaxed, secure in the knowledge that even though we planned to have food available no guests would be arriving today. We were going to take it easy and make it an easy going kind of day.

When we arrived back home I began preparing the food trays while PeterC did touch up vacuuming and garbage round up. I had just started the vegetable tray when PeterC informed me we had a message. It was from a coworker. She was bringing her spouse and children over for an early afternoon visit. I explained that the food trays would still be in preparation but she didn't care. They had eaten and were coming to visit us.

I put the Wassail into the crock pot to simmer while we prepped the food trays as quickly as we could, fighting pets and each other for space. The doorbell rang just as I had begun to cut the firm cheeses into chunks. My coworker and her family arrived bearing gifts, a lovely bottle of wine, but the most beautiful gift of all which was Holiday Cheer, Laughter, and Friendship.

They were content to stand around the table while we completed the cheese tray and laid out crackers and spreadable cheese. They agreed to having photos taken, asking for copies to be sent to them when we got a chance. They chatted and teased and we right along with them. It was the perfect Christmas Eve.

But, when they had gone for the evening and the house was silent I began thinking of Christmas past. The huge potluck meals my family in Tennessee would be serving up. I felt lonely. For the first time Sparrow Haven had rung with the sound of good natured holiday cheer that only a family can bring. Family that lived to far away or who otherwise could not be here.

I sat in my chair and watched the fire burn down. Content to just sit and be quiet. The cats and dogs slept in their corners, one taking residence upon my lap. Finally, when I could bear the silence no more and it was obvious no other guests would appear at the door, we put away the food and cleaned up the dishes.

We went upstairs to watch TV and get ready for bed, but all I could think about was how perfect this Christmas Eve had been. All it had taken was for one family, just four people, to share our home and our hospitality. To bring their love for each other and their loving laughter, to make the evening shine above all others in my memory.

Happy Holidays everyone. I hope your day is filled with love and laughter as our Christmas Eve was.

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