A Hope Chest of Light Keeping

Merry Everything

The tree is twinkling in the front room and the house smells like food. It’s loud, its crowded. We are all trying to politely find ways to take showers without bothering each other. We are trying to watch tv at the right volume. We are saying “please” and “thank you”. We are passing one another things at dinner. We are making tea. We are doing dishes. We are talking to the dog and laughing when he begs for treats. We are present and then we aren’t. We are whispering secrets and laughing loud enough to cause tears to roll down our faces.

We are all here, and there are more of us. The ghosts of us as children run around in red Christmas PJs as our adult selves wrestle with hard issues. Marriage, money, the future, worry. Mom and Dad, the ever constant, are buzzing around at different paces. Irritated one minute, laughing the next. This is our normal.

John is here. The first time I’ve spent a Christmas with someone else other than my family in the house and I find myself being extremely happy and grateful as well as a little frightened and worried that I am somehow “messing it up”. I’ve always worry I am somehow hurting someone’s feelings. Somehow in someone’s way. I probably am. I take up space, Im gently learning how not to apologise for it all the time.

In this house we have always celebrated everything. Christmas, New Years, Thanksgiving, Halloween, Birthdays, Full Moons and Summer Solecistic evenings. We skinny dip and mix drinks in the kitchen. We eat cake because it’s Monday. We get through the days slowly. We finished homework and ate dinner together. I like that about us.

I like that when things go wrong we close ranks and when things are good we open up and invite people in.

So, today of all days I say: Welcome. I say it over and over and, I say loudly with laughter. Let’s celebrate it all with twinkly, sparkling with snow hearts. With summer skin, and sunrises, with donuts and ocean spray, with leaves and wood smoke, with hydrangeas and roses. With mulch. With the year rounding out and closing; I say thank you. I say: Merry Everything.

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