Saturday, 24 December 2011

happy christmas eve

it's christmas eve morning. i woke up early, listening to the birds (robins, blackbirds, a song thrush, and the odd gull). lying snugly in bed, i thought i might get up and go for a walk in the dark morning out in the fields, but when i got out of bed - into a cold room and even colder jeans, the desire began to dissipate. and when i remembered that it had rained - poured - all day and most of the night last night - well, a slide through the mud is not quite so invigorating. coffee and snuggles with the hound won out.

later this morning we will go to the big farm shop and pick up our christmas turkey. these farmers only raise 100 birds, and the birds are out in the open all day and only brought in at night (foxes and turkeys do not mix). they hand pluck them and the turkeys are the most delicious i have ever had. we look forward to this bird all year long. all of our shopping is done now so we don't have to face the madness of any shops today, thank goodness. we'll probably have a pint in one of our locals later on though.

i'm thinking of my dad lots today. when i was young, christmas eve had specific and clearly defined rituals. first chores - the house had to be clean and ready for christmas. then lunch (in those days, something to be got through as quickly as possible in order to get to the good stuff). in the afternoon, dad and i would go out together and leave mom alone (at this point, something she was probably counting down to herself). often we'd go to movies, once, i remember, to a science museum. i remember illicit marshmallows, or baguettes and pepperoni sticks from granville island.

those afternoons were the start of christmas for me. when we got home, it was baths and getting dressed up, then a special supper and off to church. when we got home, we opened all of our presents, and for one night, i was allowed to stay up as long as i wanted, and (more importantly) eat as many chocolates, sweets and cookies as i wanted. how i didn't land up being sick late every christmas eve is a mystery, although i suppose there was wisdom in making sure i'd eaten three good meals before the sugar rush.

these days now have traditions of their own, but it's a time of year when yesterday seems closer than usual. part of me will always be hanging out with my dad on christmas eve, no matter how far apart we may be.

happy christmas eve everybody!