It was purely perfect.
It didn't matter that I never did find a bunch of my extra-special Christmas treasures that I had put away 'safely' because they're 'extra-special'. Or that I actually didn't even get lights on a bunch of little trees that I usually do. Or that I didn't even plug in the ones that I did have done.
It didn't matter that I was still wrapping presents all Christmas morning, when I promised myself that I would never do that again.
It didn't matter that I didn't get the things done that I intended many months ago to make for gifts. Who am I kidding - I didn't even get them STARTED.
It didn't matter that we had no fancy dessert like we usually have - cheesecake, trifle, pies ... nothing. I had decided that I would assign that task to my three girls who always offer to bring stuff. In my aging wisdom, I thought that I would put them on 'sweets' duty and not stress myself with having the mess of making cookies or even trouble my aging head with desserts on my agenda at all. I thought it was brilliant and wise. Only one little glitch. I forgot to mention it to THEM. Apparently, so they say, the first they heard of it was when I was scouting out to see what they brought. It's not like we went hungry, but I'm sure I lost 'Good Christmas Mother' points with my late, great, amazing mother-in-law, who is surely horrified from beyond. She thought I was quite radical and rebellious when I served Cool Whip with a dessert once & said "Oh you young people. You do know how to do things the Easy Way". It wasn't exactly admiration in her voice. She was only 45 at the time, but it seemed that we had a major generational difference of opinion in the Expections of Entertaining department.
Ahhh yes .... in spite of all of those tiny blips on my 'Create the Perfect Christmas' list - which is really just my own issues & absolute fantasy and fallacy anyway, we did indeed have a Perfect Christmas.
Because we were together.
I noticed as I was trying to figure out how I was going to squeeze everyone around our kitchen table ... (because the back room where I've set up Christmas as the family has grown, was filled with boxes & wrapping & art supplies, and general mess that I never got dunged out) ... I noticed, that in fact our family has exactly doubled since the days of 'The Original Six'. It was a very strange concoction of a table that I put together, but it worked. We were together.
But, as in every Christmas, there is a defining Story, that will identify Christmas '009. You know, the 'That was the year ....". There's always one memorable moment. At LEAST one.
So ... the day is over, they're all packing up to go back to their places. I won't say 'home' because as far as I'm concerned, that's where they already were. Brian had done well to leave the wrapping paper to burn til that time of night. He's usually stuffing it into the wood stove as quickly as we unwrap the gifts. Of course, he couldn't leave it til morning - we all know better than that. He's neater than I am. We were missing a gift, so I went through each piece of paper, transferring it to the other half of Lauren's big honkin' Bear box. Aunt Alyssa, who gave her the big honkin' Bear, being the fun, wacky aunt that she is, jumped in the box & Lauren had some fun burying her.
Then, the fun was over & Brian carried the box out to the field and set it on fire as we watched from the spectacle from the window. And then, before the flames died, we were all on a mission to find Alyssa's cell phone. Her only-months-old $600 iphone that had been in her back pocket.
Need I finish the story?