It’s Christmas morning and I, alone, am up. This is not unusual as I always help Santa with his duties and although my son is twenty-one, he still has a stocking hanging on the mantle. The loot this year includes a couple of ornaments featuring baseballs, gloves, and ‘home run’ signs. They are meant to be subtle reminders of the sport he left behind, the sport that took him around the world. But that is the subject for another blog and I don’t want to dwell on the possibilities that were forfeited because he missed his home. This home, his childhood home, where he is the center of our universe as an only child.
I’ve always loved the pregnant hum of being the first to arise on Christmas morning. The air is ripe with aromas unique to this holiday, the verdant greenery, the fruit, chocolates, peppermint and spices. In a moment I will bake some croissants and brew fresh coffee. But for now, I am happy sitting in front of the fire, quiet, peaceful. Anticipation fills me. It is like sitting in the theater right before the curtain rises and its drama and music sweeps the audience away. It does feel as though I have been setting a stage, planning a performance. I have decorated every surface, carefully wrapped gifts, cooked all day yesterday, chilled champagne, prepared mulled cider and a smoked brisket, cheese ball, fudge, honey bun cake, sugar cookie cut outs and discs of peanut butter cookies. Chex mix in covered crystal containers dot various tables. My stage is set and my guests will be up and about very shortly. So I savor this time, knowing it is the most peaceful of the day; mine alone, a gift I give myself. I can reminisce about those people I will not see again in this lifetime and the traditions I carry forward in their honor. I can do a mental checklist to assure I’ve missed nothing. I can do anything or nothing at all except sit quietly and let the spirit of Christmas fill me up so that I am replenished and ready to share the day’s wonders. That feels right to me. So friends, I wish you a happy holiday and joyful new year. And I wish you a little quiet time spent alone on Christmas morning.

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