It came just the same.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

This year, due to a crazy and very rare week of unrelenting Seattle snow, many of the presents I ordered for friends and family didn't arrive in time for Christmas. This was a disappointment because I love to give presents even more than I love to get them (and that's a lot). More than almost anything, I love giving a much researched gift to my red-headed nephew only to hear him say, "It's just what I always wanted, Auntie!" Granted, I once heard him say the same thing after he opened a Christmas package filled with styrofoam peanuts. (He is a very, very sweet boy.) To further complicate matters, the snow and icy roads resulted in this being the first Christmas I spent without my mother. The delayed presents were one thing, but the empty chair where my mother and her vodka should be was almost painful. You see, I subscribe to two holy holiday truths: 1) Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus and 2) No matter how old you are, you miss your parents at Christmas.

In the end, however, the day was lovely. I woke up to snow and coffee and our traditional Christmas morning mimosa, in that order. Due to my mother's absence, I was in charge of the more-complicated-than-they-look crab cakes. I am proud to report they were a success and the number of things I can make is now up to an astounding four.

I suppose the real question is: What makes a Christmas merry? Yes, the snow helps, but I think the answer is what it tends to always be: love.

Love, family and mimosas.

He HADN'T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same. And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling: "How could it be so? It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!" And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas... perhaps... means a little bit more."