Christmas, I suppose, is always a blend of sameness and difference. Just when you think something will always be the same, it changes, and the samenesses sneak up on you until you take them for granted.
It is also a time we feel losses differently than we do on other days, perhaps because of their interruptions of sameness. It is a time that lets us mark growths, compare past with present, remember things calendrically.
My mother went outside in her new shawl and could swear she felt, saw, and heard sleet today, even though temps were in the mid-50s and no one believed her. Jacques Monod had a romp through piles of wrapping paper, viciously maiming anyone who came close. We have made the obligatory phone calls, passing along greetings, finding out about gifts, giving thanks. I have a brand new bottle of Talisker. The PP will not take off his knitted cap, even though temps are in the mid-50s and he is sweating and red in the face. My father is just back from his daily constitutional, having taken a brief break from his new sweater. We have around us tins and tins of big chocolates, almond buttersticks, pecan fingers, peppermint rounds, spice cookies, jam thumbprints, and assortments from the neighbors, too. When I block the PP's sweater, it will be long enough (meanwhile we keep tugging on it...). My family is wrapped in knitted things, save for the cats, who are not as patient as turtlegirl's.
And as for me, I put a sweater on over my head--the first time that has happened since November 20.
Now the sun, if we could see it, is making its way toward and over the yardarm, and soon we will be getting out little plates for cheese and olives and bresaola, and then heading on towards dinner of roast and mashed potatoes and Brunello and maybe some Ridge wine. Life is good.
Merry Christmas to all!