snow falling on cedars
This past weekend my parents took him while I went out into the country and came home with a scotch pine, wobbling my unwieldy load through the side door and plopping it inside the stand. It is still lopsided. I can't get it straight and haven't decorated it yet other than adding the lights he insisted should be on it. We will decorate it together next Saturday and I will make popcorn and string it and hope he doesn't decide to eat it off the tree.
December morning, bananas and honey
I am cherishing this Christmas. I imagine it is the simplest it might ever be. When I tried to explain to him about Christmas morning and getting a present, he studied me carefully. I asked him, "what would you like under the tree?" and held my breath. His first instinct was to shout the name of the daughter of close friends of ours. I try to explain to him that we can't put people under the tree as gifts (HA!) and what kind of present might he like.
He said, "My want...a red present!"
He said, "Mommy get a blue present!"
"Perfect!" said I.
And that is how I feel. I think to myself, "you are my little blue present, sweet boy." The morning of the 22nd, which is when Solstice falls this year, he and I will open these colourful presents, whatever they are and I will leave a few more under the tree for Christmas morning. Undoubtedly he'll have a few more to open at his grandparents.
handful of stars
But as I become increasingly disillusioned with how commercial this season becomes, I cherish this moment in my heart. I know in a couple of years a tinge of its complete innocence will be lost to him describing to me exactly what brand and what name of item he wants: "not the one with the..." this, "but the one with the..." that. I know he will still hold a lot of innocence for many years to come. I'm turning 45 next month and like to think (I hope) that I still do.
But this moment. This moment. This Christmas.
This one I will always remember as perfect in its simplicity.
Some close friends will gather with us at our home the evening of the Solstice and I will fill paper bags with sand and stick tiny white candles upright in them, light them and line them up and down my driveway and along the porch to guide them to the wassail warming on my stove.
And hopefully I can instil in him the importance of giving back. To the community in which we live. To the earth. To thank our yule tree for coming into our house. When we burn the yule log from last year's tree. To the sun for warming our toes again as she stretches the days back towards Summer Solstice. To the cherished gift that is friendship and the reason his very first instinct was to shout my friends' daughters name as the perfect gift for him on Christmas morn. That is what "my want".