Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Holiday Moments 

From the interfaith challenge of full-family inclusion to the complexities of other people's travel, illnesses, and the demands of an ever-growing set of significant others, Hanukkah and Christmas have become a weeklong mashup of a celebration this year. Some highlights:
  • Realizing that taking on the mantle of Santa Claus is actually a fulfillment of the highest form of charity in Judaism.

  • Hanging apples, strung popcorn, and peanut-butter-and-pine-cone ornaments from a bough of small trees in the meadow with kids, wife, and in-laws, and then singing carols for the deer and birds to come.

  • Discovering Overheard in New York while waiting for my family to arrive for Hanukkah.

  • Finally reading my brother's girlfriend's blog from her trip to India.

  • Meatless supper (latkes and veggie soup) with my parents and siblings.

  • Giving my NYC-based brother half of our garden-to-be as a Hanukkah/Birthday present, so no matter how bad the urban life gets, he can always come home to a plot of land in the suburbs.

  • Giving my parents a "First Tuesday Cafe", so now they have no choice but to come once a month for homecooked food.

  • Giving my sister hardware and a Home Depot gift card.

  • Getting some great stuff from them, including the entire Muppets first season on DVD, Frank McCourt's new book about teaching, great comedy on CD, this year's Best Non-Required Reading (with short foreword by Beck!), Bill McKibben's Age of Information, and a new watch.

  • Discovering that our new home's staircase is slinky-perfect...and learning to trust the kid at the top of the stairs.

  • Taking the three-year-old on a walk through the slushysnow woods so we could both clear our oversugared heads after a long, cranky Christmas afternoon cleaning house, and -- upon arriving at the banks of the stream -- kneeling with the kid on my knee, only to have her initiate the world's most rewarding conversation:


    Yes, kid.

    This is so nice. I'm so glad we're here. Thank you SO much for taking me.

    Yeah. Merry Christmas, kid.

    Merry Christmas, Daddy. Can we do this every year?

    ...and then making it home just before the rain began.

After cleaning most of the day yesterday, and hosting today, we're devoting tomorrow to people-watching in random shopping meccas as-yet-to-be-determined.

Coming Wednesday: belated Xmas with Darcie's family. And -- maybe, if we're lucky -- the rain will stop.

posted by boyhowdy | 12:27 AM |

You might think those heard in New York things are just jems culled from tons of ininteresting talk, but the fact is you hear stuff like that every few hours in New York- I've never lived in a more hysterically quotable place in my life.

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