The flurry of Christmas morning is done. All the gifts are unwrapped, with proper ceremony and in the tradition that has developed in our family over the years. The paper recycles now, instead of being stuffed in garbage bags, but other than that, things follow pretty much the standard we built many years ago, little by little. The kids wait on the stairs at the appointed time, everybody comes down together, stockings get examined and emptied first, and then they move to the gifts Santa left them. After that, everybody takes turns and gives proper attention to each person opening something. It may take a little longer that way, but we don’t often forget who gave us what, and the “oohs and ahhs” make both the giver and the receiver happy. A chattering breakfast follows, and then…
Quiet. Girls retreat to their individual pursuits, delving deeper into some of the favorite things they got in the morning, sorting things, integrating new with old. I get a little down time to do the same, look over what my family gave me this year, take a quick break to write a little, and yes, make a list of what I have to do next. Coffee in hand, I’m making sure I have everything for the next phase: Christmas dinner.
Luckily, this year we’ve chosen a pretty simple meal, so prep is partly done and what is left won’t take long. I need to get the table ready to set with the good china, but not too early that things are in peril if left alone. The kitchen work doesn’t need to start in earnest for a few hours, freeing me to play a little too.
Holidays are laden with traditions. Sometimes we outgrow them, sometimes they grow with us. Ours seem to fit us just right, including this early afternoon of peace and discovery.