My alarm didn’t go off at 5:30 this morning… because it’s a new phone and I forgot to set the alarm on it. So, at the crack of 7:30, I got out of bed today, headed out to the barn to feed the flock of hens and herd of goats, all of them standing facing the house. Waiting. Watching. I was two hours late and by jove, they were going to make sure I knew they weren’t happy.
But, with food in their feeders, they quickly forgot the infraction of tardiness and I came into the house to see Mr. Muse had already gotten out of bed. I suspect that was only because it’s Christmas and he wanted to open his presents. He cheerily asked if I wanted to open presents right then or… And “or” it was, after I made myself a hot beverage, presents could be opened. He scampered off and left me to my hot beverage-making. When I got into the living room, he was sitting there with our presents to each other stacked up and waiting.
Since we like spending our money on traveling, we don’t typically get a lot of gifts for each other. This year I got Mr. Muse a replacement Pentax Optio camera. A point-and-shoot that is waterproof and has a built-in ring light for taking macro-photos. This replaced his previous Pentax Optio that was damaged in Costa Rica when he misjudged how slippery a rock was at the beach and went down – landing on the camera, its lens cracked. While no longer waterproof, it could still be used to take photos, just not macros – and he loves taking macro photos. He also got a clamp-on laser sight for one of his saws in the workshop. He’s been playing with the camera most of the morning.
And me? I got a brand-new KitchenAid food processor with 14-cup capacity. I’ve been asking for a large food processor for years, and with my new cookbooks for gluten-free baking and cooking, a lot of the recipes require a food processor. My new one is like the cadillac of food processors. I’m going to have a long-term relationship with that kitchen tool.
But, Christmas isn’t about “stuff”. It’s about people and the time we spend with them. We spent last weekend with Mr. Muse’s family. Yesterday was spent with our “chosen” family, which includes a lot of Swedes, and celebrating as the Swedes do – with a julbord. Three phases of food: starters, main meal, and desserts. And with ten adults and a pair of toddler twin girls racing about and putting their father and “uncles” to feats of strength with many cries of “AGAIN!” It was a noisy, raucous gathering that at the end, once goodnights were bid to the toddlers, the adults lolled on the couches and chairs, yawning and saying, “I need to go to bed” and “I ate too much”.
Today, Mr. Muse and I are alone for the day, tidying up the house and getting things ready for a trip up to my parents to celebrate with them. My sister, her husband and their two youngest were asked to drive some Amish friends down to Tennessee as their usual driving company was short a driver so we won’t see them this time. As much as I’d like to visit with her and my brother in law, they are giving the gift of time to their Amish friends who don’t get to see their family that often. We can see them and the kids far more often than the Amish get to see their family. And, isn’t that really the reason for the season? Celebrating the people in your life and the memories you make? Giving what you can to those who need it most?
So, from Mr. Muse and I, whatever you celebrate this holiday season we wish you Season’s Greetings, Happy Holidays, God Jul, Happy Chanukkah, Joyous Saturnalia, and every other celebration out there.