I’m sporting soggy feet from an aggravating trip to Lambeau Field, anxiously tracking packages from a last-minute, late-night on-line shopping spree, futilely trying to tune-out the mounting chaos in the adjoining family room, and feeling like the luckiest person in the world.
Our house, our bellies, and our hearts are full.
God bless us, everyone.
Christmas means family and, once again, we get to celebrate with all of ours, an event we never take for granted, especially now that most of our children have scattered.
Voices echo through empty rooms long after our intrepid travelers return to their alternate residences in New York, Chicago, and Madison. While they’re here, we’ll store up the laughter and love, the inside jokes and outside ambition, the memories and mayhem, revelry and rivalry, jabbing and joy.
We’ll battle for hot water and the last fortune cookie, draw straws for the dishes and snow shoveling duties, collect stray water glasses from all corners of the house and crank up the washing machine for load after load.
We’ll sleep a little less, laugh a little more and make several unscheduled trips to the grocery store.
Our family, like most, understands the fleeting nature of happiness, the traumatic phone call, the frightening diagnosis, the looming stress.
So we’ll take these Christmas moments, we’ll store them carefully and pull them out later, during the long, lonely, grey days of February, when dust settles on the dinner table and quiet steals oppressively over a too-tidy house.
Tomorrow morning someone will wake too early, will slam a door, drop a glass or grind coffee beans and our day will begin.
I, for one, will take it all in — the whir of the blender, the whine of the sleepy brother, the shout of the excited sister and the animated recap of the previous day.
And I’ll send a prayer of gratitude.
Here’s hoping all of you enjoy some Christmas family time in these next two weeks. God bless us, everyone.