It’s not 1914, but but my Christmas wish is for peace, and I’ve spent the last two days with that in mind. To experience peace on a global scale, is beyond the reach of any one person, but to experience an inward state of peace is, in many ways, a choice. It’s one that I’ve endeavored to pursue.
After work, I frantically finished the last of my Christmas shopping, then went to my grandfather’s to spend Christmas Eve with my mother’s side of my family. I had the expectation it would involve a lot more superficial conversation and staring at the walls than it did. It was nice to see some of the people that I typically only see on the 24th of December, and hadn’t the 2 previous years. It was strange to watch the kids running around, doing things my cousins and I used to, what doesn’t seem like all that long ago. There’s more kids now then there was then, now representing both genders and a range of age groups. Then there’s us. We, who it seems, constitute a third group now, when in the past there was just the children and the adults. Now it’s children, adults and the group I can only describe as “the original adults who were adults when we were children”. I wonder if I’m the only one making this observation.
My grandfather is getting old. His dog, once youthful and energetic now walks with a limp, just as he does, and has graying hair and reddened eyes. I’m not sure who will outlive whom. I got this sense, in a moment of contemplation, petting the dog, (something I rarely do) that it’s living for it’s master. I found myself wondering who would take it, if it’s released from that obligation, yet decides to limp on. My grandfather has said this will be his last dog. It may seem strange, but I feel that their fate is intertwined in a way. That dog is his companion, and if sensing it’s end not far away, he does not take another, I suspect it will be because his would not be far behind.
After leaving there, I went back to my mother and stepfather’s house. Christmas day was spent waking up early in the morning with the aid of one of my brothers, and writing the cards to go with the gifts I was giving. I think this year I managed to find better gifts for people, even though I had less time. I played Guitar Hero a bit, but Brendan wasn’t in as much of a sharing mood as I would have liked. It is a really fun game, and I can understand why it’s addictive.
We went to Randy’s mothers in the afternoon. I saw 3 of my 4 step-sisters, and my cousins again (my mother’s sister is married to one Randy’s brothers). I ended up really tired, and around 8pm my phone died. Amanda called regularly, and our first Christmas apart in 2 years didn’t emphasize the distance as much as I had thought it would.
It was also my cousin Chris’ birthday, and luckily since the family is pretty secular, he wasn’t upstaged by Jesus as much as he could have been, or at least was likely less aware of it. The birthday cake was really good. I wonder why, if Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus over Christmas, nobody thinks to have birthday cake. I suppose it’s because it’d be hard to fit over two thousand candles on a cake, or maybe because the candles wouldn’t get blown out… Or would they? I know if I hadn’t had a birthday for two thousand years, I’d probably be inclined to make an appearance, even if I did have to be cautious of possible sword-wielding immortals staging an ambush. It’d be worth it.
The night is now finished up. I made it back with socks and underwear in tow, and some aging queens, who are soon to be dead presidents, stuffed into my pockets. My hug quota has been filled, and I’m welcoming Morpheus when he comes, recognizing that despite the boost it provided David Icke, I’m still annoyed that even I take that as a Matrix reference.
I feel hopeful, and that is the best Christmas gift of all.