When I come down, my parents have already settled into their morning crossword ritual. I start myself a cup of French Vanilla coffee in the Keurig machine, then join them at the table. Sales fliers promote whatever will be on sale tomorrow.

The only sign that this morning is any different from any other morning is that we greet each other differently:

Merry Christmas

My sister and her family will be joining us in the evening, so it’s not so very Christmassy a morning. The family traditions of Christmas, such as they are – Christmas punch and snacky foods on the Eve, presents in the morning – are off kilter. We went to Christmas Eve services at their local church, but Christmas Eve was otherwise a quiet evening in. I didn’t make the Christmas punch – we didn’t even buy the ingredients this year. And presents… well, the present-opening will wait until the rest of us arrive. Or maybe tomorrow morning. Whatever works out. No rush.

Although I did suggest that maybe we could all get up this morning, and open the presents to my sister and her family. And then re-wrap them again, for them to open later. That way we have all the fun of opening presents, but without spoiling it.

Or alternatively I suggested that we could hide the presents and just leave shreds of used holiday paper under the tree, and pretend we’re all done.

My father agrees the kids’ reaction would be priceless. No one is buying in, though.

So the day goes on. My mother has Christmas carols echoing through the house. A roast is in the oven for dinner tonight… we’ll have the big family meal together tomorrow. I’m actually hoping we can put off gift-opening until tomorrow morning, but I doubt the little girls – I can hardly wait to see them will be able to stand for it.

We’ll see.

By the time we partake of the Christmas festivities, most people will be finished with theirs.

I hope your holidays were joyous and blessed!

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