Dec 28, 2010

Afraid of Christmas

"I want to be in my own house the night that Santa comes," declared our youngest; still young enough to unabashedly believe. Good enough reason for us to do a lovely Vancouver family/friends run early and be home by the 23rd. Good friend's party on the 24th, then, GULP, a whole Christmas Day to ourselves.

"Gulp" because I aint never done that before. Christmas has never been about small nuclear family; after a Peace-filled morning with parents and brother to open presents and eat pancakes it was always about the extended family, the community, making the round of teenage friends. What on earth would we do with an entire day of "just" us? Where would the magic come from?

With all that time, we took our time opening presents. One at a time, checking them out, at one point doing a search through the farm to find Galen's new bike. A slow delicious breakfast of Monkey Bread that we'd started the night before. A family bike ride (OK, including a quick guerrilla carolling at Makaria Farms). An afternoon game of Zekiah's new Settlers of Catan. Elvis and Mahalia and all the great Christmas tunes. Sazzarific Christmas food and goodies. A long long family snuggle at bedtime. Everything we felt like doing and NOTHING from the things-to-do list.

I already knew what the Grinch finally discovered: "Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more!" But here I was unwrapping the gift of accepting that magic doesn't have to come from outside. We have all the love and energy and spark and creativity and warmth we need to fuel an entire Christmas just here in our home.

This doesn't spell the end of Rick the Extrovert, creating and gathering energy from those around him. But it was a powerful call to not undervalue our own little family. To maybe even follow the footsteps of other families I respect and declare the occasional (or even regular) family day. The idea of devoting even one day a month to nothing but Us still intimidates me, but the idea of a family bike ride and Settlers game makes it seem not only do-able but even (gasp!) just as good if not better than a potluck.

So, first New Year's Resolution: paint a big CLOSED FOR BUSINESS sign to hang on the door/computer/phone/ and TTD list once in a while. To be Full with the knowledge that that moment can't be made any better with another friend or community event or touch with the world. To issue a loving Hasta Manana to the big beautiful world outside and turn to the small beautiful family inside.


  1. Well done--grounding of the family soul. Happy Holidays nduku~!Michele

  2. Ah, lovely, you survived and thrived! Justin and the boyz and I are having our replacement quiet-as-mice Xmas day today, having come through the extrovert bit. See you on the other side... :)