Friday, December 14, 2012

Two Turtle Doves

In our family we open our presents on Christmas day. When we were growing up, the rule was always that we had to wait for Mom and Dad to get up before going downstairs to the tree. I can still remember craning my whole body as far as it would go without leaving the landing to catch a peek at what lay below.

One year we all woke up around 4 am and somehow convinced my parents to let us get started. By 5 it was all over, and as I sat in front of the Light Bright, I felt as hollow as the holes I was punching in the black paper with those bright plastic pegs. For the first time in my life, I was disappointed by Christmas.

I also realized that for me, Christmas is all about the anticipation. That's one reason why it can be so galling these days to try to wedge the holidays into an already over-crowded schedule. It seems like the season comes and goes too quickly; there's no cha

Heidi's family opens their gifts at midnight on Christmas Eve. The only way that works for me is being able to look forward to more celebration when we get to my family later in the day. Of course, it's a long way from Buffalo to Virginia, and farther still to Atlanta-- we're lucky to make it there by mid-afternoon, if the weather cooperates.

Several years ago we spent Christmas in a snow storm at the airport in Buffalo, watching them plow the runways and de-ice the planes. We finally caught one of the first and last flights of the day, and made it home a little before midnight. Everyone was here waiting for us; there was a fire in the fireplace and Chinese takeout to eat, and Christmas stretched long into the next morning.

That was a good one.

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