As it has happened every year, I was the first one awake this morning. Radio 2 played classical Christmas music all night long; Carol of the Bells played just as I was coming out of sleep, so it felt like Christmas morning right away. I snuck out of bed successfully and then, anti-climatically, sat waiting half an hour for Mike and Alma to wake up. Once they were up, we opened our stockings and made orange roll (a cinnamon bun with orange that tastes like Christmas). Mike wished the cows Merry Christmas with a bunch of turnips and did the chores while Alma and I washed dishes (I hope she always loves doing dishes with me…ha).
We opened one gift each and then got breakfast ready. Alma was given a French book about a nativity play, Mike received two incredible cook books that he said he would share with me (The River Cottage Meat Book and River Cottage Every Day), and I got a pair of cozy down-filled booties (Alma got a bonus gift of mini versions of my slippers). Our stockings were simple and only had a few things in them (clementines, hazelnuts, chestnuts, and a treat). We are going to do stockings, hopefully, each of the twelve days.
This is the first year that we are stretching out the celebrating and the gifts, and it is the first year I don’t feel overwhelmed. I usually feel gluttonous by Christmas afternoon, as a result of the treats and the gifts. This year I feel relaxed and enormously blessed, plus a little sick from all the maple fudge I’ve eaten. I can’t remember a Christmas day ever feeling this relaxed. Without all the pressure being put on one day, I’m enjoying everything more. I usually feel like I need to DO ALL THE THINGS on Christmas Day, but there are another eleven days to go this year, so we read books and had naps this afternoon.
Happy first day of Christmas!