It may have been the coldest Christmas in Orlando in 25 years, but it certainly was the coziest 🙂
Phillip and I did our celebrating on Christmas Eve. We made a big fat, double stacked lasagna, and while it was slow baking, we played cards, nibbled on caramel popcorn, snuck tins of cookies onto neighboring doorsteps, placing them with little notes that read, “Merry Christmas from a neighbor!”
The lasagna was ready about 11pm. Complete with salads and fresh bread, we had the most lovely time laughing while we had dinner off our TV trays planted firmly in front of the tree. The glare of those divine lights sparked like flint off our forks, the glow of the tree on this most holy of evenings cast warmth on our happy faces, the shimmering ornaments glistened with our guffaws.
Phillip and I love spending Christmas Eve like this. You get to have fun right along side with all the anticipation, then wake up Christmas morning whenever you want, plop on the couch knowing that for one day your only obligation is to feel peace and joy and good will towards man.
…and can eat whenever you want, knowing there is a huge chunk of lasagna ready to be reheated and devoured whenever you’re dang well ready. Oh! And one slice of lemon torte we treated ourselves for dessert. It’s from our favorite Italian deli on the next block. It’s a STUPID expensive slice of pie….oh, but so worth it. As a matter of fact, I think the reason it’s so expensive is because it’s so rich and dense and gorgeous one slice is just fine for two people….especially after having my super fat, double stacked lasagna.
We then spent the last part of Christmas eve winterizing our old little Florida home. Honeychurch wasn’t designed for cold weather. She can, however, handle with some amazing beauty the heat and humidity of this corner of the world we call Eden, but this kind of climate was not in her design.
So, we closed all the A/C vents, hung afghans over the doorways to keep the heat from the space heater contained in the living room. (Ironically, my mother made me that particular afghan one Christmas nearly 20 years ago).
Sure enough, next morning? Cold as…..(well, fill in your own expletive 🙂 ) The air outside was a ghastly, icy fright….but our little cottage den was comfortable and homey.
Phillip and I didn’t care about the cold anyway, we were prepared. This year for Christmas we had been blessed with all those comforts required for this unusual and sudden chill. As if someone out there was aware that if they didn’t act fast, these two Florida boys were going to freeze to death.
We both received a pair of big poofy slippers, each a super plush blanket made out of what Phillip and I call “genuine Muppet skin,” a space heater, and our little ones were blessed with a carpeted cat condo to keep them off the cold, hardwood floors…..all of this arriving just shy of Christmas Eve when it was a comfortable 80 degrees.
We were all ready to wake Christmas morning to the coldest Christmas in nearly 30 years….warmly bundled with care, as if on a dare!
The five of us were all snuggly in our living room, the afghans drawn over the doors, our little cats all quiet in the corner, and Phillip and I on the couch bundled under a bevvy of skinned Muppets (I’m sorry I had to throw in a little humor).
I pulled my head from under my blanket and peeked over at that pretty tree. I then turned to spy Phillip smiling with delight as he sat under his blanket watching something on TV while crocheting. I studied him for a minute without him knowing. That man looked so pleased. There was something child like on his face. He was beaming with that amazing naiveté of his. Forgive my saying so, but it was the look of a broken 10 year old boy who finally got what he wanted for Christmas.
Turning my gracious gaze back to the tree I see my little fur babies all curled up on their own comfy tiers of tranquility, falling fast asleep with dreams of tuna treats to be eaten later.
My family was together, napping on their bellies, content, with not a care in the world. At least for a day, the four beings that mean the most to me had no need to worry about anything…at least not today, not on Christmas day.
They were so happy, so blissfully happy. The best Christmas present you could have ever given me was giving my little family the warm feeling of home. I cannot thank you enough for that.
As a falling tear of joy slipped into the crease of my gorgeous grin, I couldn’t help but say with just reverence, “Best Christmas ever…..”
Slowly, I faded into my own little nap, beautiful images of Honeychurch in the coming spring began to delight my imagination, my eyes were getting heavy, the room was quiet, sleep was massaging my shoulders. Tippy toeing through wildflowers I’d grown in my mind, I was flung back into reality when Phillip shrieks, “Wait!….We still have more lasagna in the fridge! YES! Oh, my GOD! I FORGOT ABOUT THAT! BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!!!”
Thank you all so much. 🙂
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