Thursday, December 27, 2007

Merry Christmas

A belated "Merry Christmas" to everyone. After last Friday I was too caught up in Christmas preparations, last-minute shopping, and family activities to get near the blog or even check email. (And I have to admit there were moments when I experienced symptoms of blog withdrawal. Nearing the one year anniversary of this endeavour, I find this blog has become a hard habit to break . . . not that I'm trying to break it, mind you.)

In the end we managed to put the tree up by Saturday, have the kids decorate it, wrap the presents, attend a Christmas eve service on Monday, and settle into bed by 1:00 a.m. Christmas morning. As always my wife and I were doing the wrapping late on Christmas eve and, as part of our yearly routine, watched the televised services from St. Patrick's Cathedral and the Vatican. (Although neither of us is Catholic, we both have Episcopal backgrounds and recognize most of the Catholic liturgy. Oddly, we both concluded that the St. Patrick's and Vatican services seemed flat and joyless, lacking that Christmas spirit of celebration. Perhaps this was a product of the highly choreographed nature of these services, for they just seemed to be "going through the motions" or "phoning it in." Or perhaps the participating clergy were just exhausted, having reached the end of the Yuletide charisma for the next time they celebrate a Christmas mass.)

Thankfully, the kids slept in until 8:00 a.m. For those of you who don't think of that hour as "sleeping in," realize that my kids usually awaken around 6:30 or 7:00 and we were most grateful for the extra hour of sleep. We sifted through the gifts from "Mom and Dad" and "Santa" and while the boys were happy with the "loot" they had scored, we detected a sense of disappointment that they hadn't received every item enumerated on their Christmas lists. So, we had to explain that Santa never satisfied every wish, nor would he deliver items that might be deemed inappropriate. Grumbling quieted, the rest of the day was spent playing with the bounty of Santa's great generosity, while Mommy and Daddy lazed about for much of the afternoon. A merry Christmas was had by all.

On Friday we travel to Virginia to visit my family until New Year's day. With luck and some free moments, I'll have photos to post during the trip. (By the way, the image of Santa is an 1881 rendering by Thomas Nast for Harper's Weekly. It represents the genesis of the modern American interpretation of Santa Claus from which our present images were derived. I actually prefer this Santa over some of the more sterile characterizations presented in cartoons and the well-known "clay-mation" holiday shows. Over the centuries there have been countless versions of the "Father Christmas," "Kris Kringle," and "St. Nicholas" myths, but it's the American version - with its graphic roots in the Nast imagery - that has proved dominant since the end of World War II.)

1 comment:

Isabel said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful Christmas with your family. That is what Christmas is all about. I am glad for you and yours.
Merry Christmas to all of you.