Christmas Is Coming, and That’s Still a Good Feeling

Christmas is so much different than when I was young. Does it take being 55 to realize this? I think back now, I have more than 50 Christmases in my memory that I can lucidly recall…I think about each year and when we put on Christmas music they flood back my memories. The difference as an adult is that at a certain age you’re released from the duties of having to buy presents for everyone–and even for your significant other, it becomes more of a friendly horse-trade than the agonizing shop, shop list, list of long ago.

Today we did the rituals that define the holiday. We visited a local farmer who sold us a few wreaths and then we choose a pretty good looking spruce tree, already cut down. “The trees come from Vermont,” the farmer told us. “Spruces don’t grow well around here.”

We played the familiar anthems that define the season as we wound the Christmas lights around the tree. We fitted the base of the tree into the hold and screwed the pins in, and gave it a big drink of water after we wrapped the base in a red sheet. The lights, when you squint, are perfectly arranged, not too many big spaces. Decorations will come tomorrow night.

We dined on soup. A hearty white bean, pumpkin, vegetable soup that warmed us up and went perfectly with the crusty bread. Our woodstove made the living room so warm, at 77 we decided we had to stop putting wood in. It was just a little too toasty. Outside the chill of the upcoming storm proved that despite winter being two weeks away, a winter snowstorm is coming.

I fueled up the snowblower and got it all ready to go. It’s winter, it’s Christmas, I’m a grown up now and the whole feeling is cozy and bright. Christmas is here, there is no crushing list of gifts I have to buy, and that’s a good feeling.