It’s Christmas Eve. It’s 5PM. I just wrapped my last gift. A picture I put in a frame for my Mom. Its not her only gift but its my favorite thing I got anyone. It’s a picture taken on my favorite day of my life so far.
Tonight our family…. my Aunt and Uncle, my Grandmother, my Great Aunt, and my cousins will come over for dinner. In an hour or so.
My Dad keeps yelling from the other room that I should “Fill up before the ‘Tribe’ gets here”. His use of the word tribe isn’t in the mystical, pre-destined sense I’ve spoken of before…. its just how he sarcastically refers to our family. My Mom is cooking and has been all day. There’s a pecan pie, freshly baked, perfectly crisp and gooey looking on the kitchen countertop. My sister just got a FlipCam and is trying it out in the den. I hear her directing my niece to do something cute and I hear my niece stomping around. Lightly, in the background, the SiriusXM radio is playing the Holiday Traditions channel…. ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’…. there is a fire going and it smells like fires smell in old houses….. I just got home a few minutes ago and was struck with such a familiar smell and feeling…. of this house, these people, Christmas Eve, last year, fifteen years before. We’ve done this, at this house since I was five years old. Weird.
So far, my pursuit for active presence this week has been off and on…. I feel I’ve almost been there from time to time and as far from there a lot of time too. It’s tough but gonna keep trying. This family will argue tonight, some of us will likely fight by the end of the night (the usual suspects), and I’ll probably get mad at myself for saying something mean to somebody out of a moment of stress…. but as I’m sitting here, smelling this house and the food and the fireplace and hearing the sounds…. I am trying desperately to take a mental picture, complete with motion, sound, lighting….. because moments really don’t get back than this.
It’s hard to stay here in the present to see it all…. but I’m thankful. For all of this.
Merry Christmas, guys.