Come all ye
Col and Rose are singing “Oh Come all Ye Faithful” in shaky, squeaky voices while wrapping rocks and shells to give to their friend Cedar for Christmas, but to open today, December 4th. “Do you say, Happy Christmas?” Rose wonders, “or is it Glory Christmas?”
“Will you sing that Glory song, Mama?” Col asks me.
“You mean, hark the herald angels sing, glory to the newborn king? That one?” I ask, exercising my singing voice to my greatest and only fans.
“No, not that one,” Rose says. “The one about christmas trees and candy.”
“No, Rosie, it’s that one that goes, glor-ooor-ooor-ooor-ia.” Col explains.
“Oh. I love that one. Next halloween Coley? Do you know what I’m gonna say? I’m gonna say: trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat. If you don’t, I don’t care, I’ll pull down your underwear.”
“Hmmn. Who taught you that, honey?”
This is pretty much where we’re at. It reminds me of Thanksgiving when Rose and Col forked slices of turkey hungrily onto their plates, announcing wistfully, “I love chicken.”
Which is to say, we’re a little confused but working it out. We’re creating traditions in real time; so real that I just swept the kids up into my arms while joyfully singing along with Elvis: “Glory to God. In the highest. Oh, come let us adore him. OH COME LET US ADORE HIM.” (Which is my favorite Christmas song ever, which is baffling, because I grew up in a family that was allergic to Christmas). And now I’m taking stock of our potato supply for our annual first-night-of-Hanukkah dinner, in which my Quaker-raised husband sizzles latkahs and we spin the dreidel and let the kids play with fire.
And it’s all good. Rose is now playing Christian rock on her radio, twirling around and shouting, “listen! It’s Hanukkah music!
We decided that instead of cutting down a tree this year, we’d honor all our local conifer species (juniper, pinyon, blue spruce, white fir, ponderosa pine, douglas fir, limber pine, lodgepole pine, subalpine fir, engelmann spruce) by cutting a branch of each, binding them together with wire and hanging them above our south-facing windows.
~The kids, those funny kids, have not once asked where our tree is. In other strange and unsurprising news, we’re more of a open-presents-when-we-have-time-to-enjoy-them family, than wait until morning of Dec 25th, so lack of tree doesn’t throw off the gathering round the tree to open presents thing~
~Standing on the table is strictly forbidden, except when it’s not quite 6 am, and a very earnest little boy is hanging ornaments on a Christmas/Solstice/Winter garland thingy that no one quite knows the name of~
~That’s Maggie (formerly known as Jess for old-school readers), who visited us from Cali and who we miss already~
~Ornaments are made with play clay – water, salt, flour and…oh, go Google it~
Happy Christmas and Glory to Hanukkah to all of you!