When I was rocking Daphne to sleep last night, I was thinking about Christmas.
I was thinking about my grandparent’s house, about cold Northern California nights at their magical, museum like home, sneaking cigarettes on Christmas Eve, after dinner, with my cousin and brother, looking up at the stars, the heat of our breath almost indistinguishable from the smoke we exhaled into the night. I was thinking about my grandpa sipping his vodka on the rocks, covered by a plaid blanket, his blue eyes moist with love for us all. I was thinking about the wicker reindeer pair lit up with white lights, the first thing to greet you as you pulled up the ridiculous steep driveway to their paradise in the trees.
I started to cry thinking about all of this, while a warm sleeping baby stirred in my arms.
That beautiful home now belongs to someone else, another couple will retire there, and will hopefully share as many wonderful holidays as I did with my family. But in my heart it’s still ours – the magic, the wet blue eyes, the rotating Christmas tree, the turmoil filled dinners where we’d try, unsuccessfully to avoid dropping gravy on my Grandmother’s fancy table cloths.
And now I am responsible for helping a new child make memories of her own. I, with Merp’s help, hold the key to creating Christmas traditions. What will she remember? What will she forget? I have no control over that, but I am the set designer, as her mother I get to create the stage. It’s a lot of responsibility, but I love it.
This year, we will celebrate at Merp’s brother’s house in Minnesota. I love that this will be a part of Daphne’s holiday repertoire every other year – the old city charm, the Midwest cold, the simple pleasures of Merp’s roots. There’s talk of a white Christmas. Let it snow! After we’ve safely landed in the Twin Cities, of course.
Over the weekend, my family came to my house where I had my first family Christmas tree waiting for them. I also made my first Christmas dinner – a grass fed bone in roast that may have been the best piece of beef I’ve ever tasted, along with a coconut milk, almond flour pumpkin pie, sweetened with coconut sugar. Daphne warmed up to the chaos within the hour of everyone’s arrival, smiling at my 92 year old grandmother, and laughing at my brothers (both were there and both are doing excellent! My sick brother, is currently well, with the help of a monthly shot, he’s planning to return to college in the Spring). Can you believe how far we’ve come?
I have so much to be thankful for. The magic from past holidays lives on in my heart, helping me embrace the change of the present, and the remarkable possibility, and uncertainty, of the future. I take nothing for granted.
Happy Holidays dear readers! May your days be merry and bright!