I woke up this morning to a true Christmas miracle. The Great and Terrible Maurice came to greet me in the bed and she presented her butt to me and turned and kneaded as cats do and then settled down beside me and if I put my head up against her chest I could hear her purring and it was amazing and I was so happy to have her there. Mr. Moon came in and said, "It's eight-thirty!" and I said, "I know, I KNOW!" and he kissed me and I kissed him and then he pulled up the sheet on his side of the bed and made it all straight and tidy and I can take a hint and I got up, loathe to leave Maurice alone but ready to get on with this Christmas day because my heart was not sad nor broken and I felt (dare I say this?) cheerful and excited to go see the grandchildren open their presents.
I got dressed and had coffee and we drove back to Lily's house and everyone was excited and happy and I made hashbrowns and sausage and Lily cooked eggs and heated pastries and May and Michael and Hank showed up and then Jessie and Vergil and August and Levon arrived and it was all wonderful.
This is what a beautiful day it was and although you can't really see it, Hank's hair was shining like a newly minted penny in the sun.
While we were cooking, there was music on and when Aaron Neville's "Oh Holy Night," came on Lily told Owen, "This was my favorite Christmas song when I was a little girl!" and I did not know that but still have that CD and she and Owen danced in the kitchen together, mother and son, to that angelic voice and I held Levon against me as he drowsed, swaying my body and patting him gently and after about ten minutes of that I felt as mellow and stoned as any old hippie who'd been at the bong for hours.
We ate our breakfast and then the present unwrapping began and yes, it was chaos. I think my favorite thing was when Gibson unwrapped what Jessie and Vergil had given him and Owen both, which were goodie boxes of Yoo-hoo's in cartons, beef jerky, some other things that I don't remember and a full-sized container of PRINGLES!!!!!
Oh my god. You would have thought Gibson had received a gold cadillac!
"My own Pringles!!!!!!!" he screamed.
"Better not pop the top; I hear you can't stop," said May sagely, from the floor where she and Michael were sitting.
"Thank you!" Gibson shouted at Jessie in his Gibson voice which is about the same decibels as a jet.
He was so happy.
And many beautiful presents were unwrapped and our children gave Mr. Moon and me a year's pass to all of the Florida state parks which is absolutely the most thoughtful and wonderful gift I can imagine. I was gobsmacked.
And here is August, solemnly and carefully examining his new farm.
Maggie was wild with the joy of tearing paper off of presents. She got a farm too, of course, and a baby doll and all kinds of crazy good stuff. This is what she'd looked like at 8:00 a.m.
so you can imagine what she looked like by 11:00.
And if that child isn't a baby doll herself, I do not know what a baby doll is.
Here's Owen holding up the markers that his Uncle Hank gave him and if you look closely you can see a tiny bit of the joy that Gibson was experiencing when he discovered that Hank had given him a frog backpack THAT HE COULD PUT ALL HIS SNACKS IN!
So it was like that with Levon being the center of calm and sweet joy.
Here's the present that May gave to her brother.
It's a tiny painting that she did and it blows me away. She said she'd always wanted to give Hank a library and thus, she has with Hank's cat Johnny Karate sitting on a rug in front of a fire. "See?" she said. "Johnny laid a fire!" and look at the tiny pictures on the mantel. It's just so perfect in all regards. May is unbelievably talented in so many ways.
And finally, Hank and May and Michael had to leave to go to their dad and their stepmom's house (which is just down the road from Lily's house) for the celebration there and Boppa and Mer took their leave too. I was so incredibly sleepy for some reason but Mr. Moon and I unwrapped our presents for each other when we got home. I got him silly things like flashlights and new underwear and pralined pecans and a bird feeder and he got me rum and dark chocolate and my favorite espresso and...
A beautiful ruby ring to wear with my gorgeous Cozumel-sea-colored emerald that he gave me on my birthday a few years ago. I sent this picture to Lily and Jessie, and Jessie said that my hands look like a rock-and-roll pirate queen's hands and I love that. Beautiful jewels on my old hands.
I can't stop looking at the ring. I love it. I even love my old hands, as gnarled and wrinkled and age-spotted as they have become. They have done so much for me and still do from digging in the dirt to making so many meals to comforting babies to changing diapers to holding hands with those I love. If there is one part of me which deserves decoration, it is these old hands.
And so it has gone this Christmas and it has been as sweet as any Christmas I can remember in forever. I'm going to go and cook (with these old hands) some scallops and pasta for me and the sweet man to whom I am married.
Here's Aaron Neville singing "Oh Holy Night" if you have a yearning to hear an angel's voice.
I wish you peace and I wish you joy and I wish you light and I wish you love.
Thank you for being here and part of my entirely fortunate life.
oh to have little ones and a family so in love with each other. you are so blessed Ms MoonReplyDelete
I know, Ellen! I know! Sometimes I can't even believe it.Delete
I downloaded the Aaron Neville song at the beginning of your post. It’s incredible. I’m probably going to listen to it another 20 times.ReplyDelete
And Mary, I am so full of happy sighs that you had a nice Christmas. I did too. Right now I feel just... content, relaxed with just a touch of melancholy that this season brings. But melancholy because the memories are so good. I love you, Mary.
I love you, too, Birdie. It seems as if we all had a fairly happy Christmas and isn't that wonderful? We survived with our hearts and souls intact! I'm so glad you loved the Aaron Neville song. If you've never listened to the Neville Brothers, you should. They are amazing.Delete
What a gorgeous ring! So so pretty. I love that Gibson loved his edible gifts that he can put in his frog back pack. I LIVE the painting that May did for Hank. Next year I am making gifts.ReplyDelete
Good Lord! We should all make gifts. They are the most wonderful and the best. Aren't they?Delete
Well, except for jewelry. (Blush. I am a sucker for shiny pretty things.)
I'm so glad to hear you had such a terrific Christmas! Aaron Neville is playing right now as I write this comment. :) (For the record, I've always loved Johnny Mathis' version of this same song. But Aaron gives it a special magic.)ReplyDelete
That ring is beautiful! You do have Marianne Faithfull hands! And I love May's painting -- what a terrific gift. As for the kids, well, having kids around on Christmas gives the day an entirely different dimension, doesn't it?
Ah- Marianne Faithful hands. I love that! Thank you! And I'm glad you like Aaron's version of Oh Holy Night. It's ethereal, isn't it?Delete
And yeah- kids make Christmas absolutely better. From the ones old enough to appreciate each gift to the babes, completely immune to all of it.
Sounds like a lovely day! Mine was nice, too, but there was only one little one to enjoy. But I sure did! Speaking of hands....last summer I complained to my daughter that my hands were getting old and wrinkled. She said, 'those hands held my babies and they're beautiful. Hush yo mouth.' I love your description just as much!ReplyDelete
I love that, Catrina! "Hush yo mouth!" Yes.Delete
And one little one is so much better than none.
I love May's painting. It immediately reminded me of the peaceful illustrations in Good Night Moon.ReplyDelete
You are right about May's painting but in this case, it was made with the love of her brother and his love for books (which we all share in our family) and his cat in mind. I can't say how much I love it.Delete
Beautiful rings! The one from Cozumel is also gorgeous. Sounds like you all had a wonderful day.ReplyDelete
Mr. Moon did not get the emerald ring in Cozumel but the stone reminds me of the sea there. So I do think of it as my Cozumel ring. We did have a very fine day. I hope you did too!Delete
Such beautiful rings. Such a beautiful family. I love how you enjoy each other! Merry, merry everything, dear Mary.ReplyDelete
Merry, merry everything to you, too, dear friend. And your family enjoys each other too and that makes us the luckiest women. SO lucky.Delete
I’m glad it was a good one for you, othermother :) Babies make it magic.ReplyDelete
Babies ARE magic and yes, they make it magic. Both. Love you, girl.Delete
I am just THRILLED that you enjoyed Christmas! I really am. It was great talking to you. You are loved.ReplyDelete
What a joyful Christmas! I'm glad it was so happy. And what a wonderful picture May did, she is a talented artist. Happy Christmas to you all!ReplyDelete
May is so very talented. And she has no idea! It drives me insane. So thank you for confirming that!Delete
I hope your Christmas was joyful as well, dear Jenny.
Oh, what beautiful rings those are...and what a beautiful family you have. You are truly blessed. :)ReplyDelete
I know! And I cherish these blessings. To have a family that loves each other? Truly?Delete
My dreams all come true.
And I have to admit I love my jewelry.
What a beautiful Christmas, Mary, blessed gifts and people. I'm sorry I wasn't here yesterday to wish you happy Christmas, I had computer trouble, and dinner for 6 to make, and a yukky cold. Had a happy, if tired day too, though! <3ReplyDelete
I always thought you had beautiful Georgia O'Keeffe hands...but " a rock-and-roll pirate queen's hands" is very fitting also! That ruby ring is stunning! Mr Moon has great taste and a really good eye for choosing pretty jewels for his woman. And just think, one day a grown up Maggie, or another grandchild, might wear that treasured ruby ring that her grandfather gave her grandmother for Christmas in 2017 and be reminded of the love they shared that had built their family. Those are the kind of thoughts that sustain me and give me comfort in my own life. I am very thankful that you are having a peaceful holiday season. My own little 8 month old granddaughter has given us the sweetest Christmas we have had in a very long time. Those babies are magic and true healers! I am so grateful I got to experience being a grandmother...there is nothing quite like it, just as you have said so often and so eloquently here.ReplyDelete
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