and so this is….

Windows in a cathedral in Linz, Austria Christmas 2010

Windows in a cathedral in Linz, Austria Christmas 2010

Christmas. Woke up before dawn, like a little kid, and unwrapped the gifts that my friends got together for me. wonderful things- beeswax candles, handmade soaps, yummy treats, pretty things… I had more fun than a crow in a cornfield… it reminded me that giving gifts is a pleasure, or can be if done in the right spirit, but so is receiving them!

Spent the morning dutifully working on my novel, and making a turkey and goat cheese pie- I sure hope it will be edible… saving it for when my friend Kathi comes up at New Year, and if it is no good well we’ll go out to eat! that went in the freezer and I almost rushed out the door to go to the last Christmas mass at 11 but knew i’d be late so just ditched that idea and made myself a coffee. Left for the community Christmas dinner at 1 in bright sunshine, not too cold and very still… hardly a car on the road. The river was dazzling but had a fringe of ice on either side. Got to the church hall and it was already full of people, with a celtic banjo player on stage. I sat down at a table with only one other person, who was joined by a friend and then a woman with two children. We had a wonderful meal, very veg-heavy and then dessert. I don’t even want to think about it. Eventually some women who had been serving dinner joined our table and then the fun started- one of them started untying the ribbons from used christmas crackers and tieing them together to make cat toys out of them. The little girl was very interested in this activity and also in the prizes from the crackers. First she got golf tees, then a disco ball. people kept giving her their prizes and then somehow they got hold of more christmas crackers and she ended up with a whole stash of them! Her brother got a set of little screwdrivers that I thought must be useless but was told they are actually good for iphones and glasses! then I wanted some.

One of the women pulled what looked like a marijuana leaf charm from her cracker and put it over her ear. When I told her what i thought it was, she noted that she wouldn’t know anything about it! but she took it off quickly enough. Weird charms for Christmas crackers! I guess they are not just for the kid in all of us, but for the wily youth and bored adult too.

At the end, I admit i felt a little lonesome… walking out the door by myself. Now I am home I am fine and enjoying my solitude, listening to Christmas gospels on CBC and eating turkey soup. yes eating again. Tis the season.

I hope this day brought peace and joy and healing to those who need it… and we all need it…bless us all.

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