Today, I celebrated Christmas with my family. It wasn't anything fancy, but yet it was a grand celebration. There was a lot of noise as everyone talked all at once not bothering to consider if anyone was actually listening. Family trait. The food that graced the table was wholesome and plentiful, old family favourites made by loving hands.
The wee Christmas tree had been dragged out from storage, dusted down and installed a few days ago amidst a controversy of whether or not it was "proper" to put it up this year given my grandmother's recent passing. Common sense prevailed and we all thought about her as we decorated it with love. On Christmas day, it turned out to be a very handy place holder for the numerous money envelops from those of us who had been too ill prepared (read: lazy) to actually go out and buy prezzies! Whoever said money doesn't grow on trees?
Post lunch, the cousins all changed into their "costumes" for the home-made production of the Nativity play. Yes, this would have been humiliating under normal circumstances, but since it was for the benefit of my 95 year old grandpa, we all swallowed our pride and put on a good show.
Of course, there was the usual back stage shenanigans; Mary was sent off to change as her original costume was too flashy, the angel was behaving anything BUT and had to be given a stern talking to, two of the three kings were in a squabble over which one had the bigger crown, Joseph insisted that his teddy bear be given a role and so we had the shepherd carry him in as a sheep and to crown it all, the baby doll that was to play the Christ child went missing and was found mere minutes before the show. As show producer (and official photo take-outer) I handeled it all with my usual grace and composure.
When all the food had been eaten, the presents unwrapped, the costumes put away and the general hustle and bustle of the day had died down, the youngins took a walk down to the promenade by the sea and brought a most wonderful Christmas day to close gazing out into the sparking light of the moon over the sea.
Tomorrow, Papa will be going in for surgery to remove the growth that was obstructing his windpipe and oesophagus. We did not want to think about what the morrow may bring. For now, this was our Silent Night. All was still calm, still bright.