Despite all the tumult of the last several weeks with moving and illness, Thom and David managed to make Christmas as lovely as always. I had a very small part in the preparation of the wondeful meal featuring crown roast of pork (I made the green feet). With it there was stuffing, asparagus with lemon butter, tomato pudding, creamed onions, then rum cake and home-made ice cream. They had put up a perfectly shaped real Christmas tree and decorated it with silver ornaments and white lights. It was beautiful and elegant.
During the afternoon I went over to open gifts with them, and was struck speechless by their generosity toward me. My gifts to them certainly paled, but I tried to avoid comparisons and the ensuing guilt I could have felt. It would have diminished their gifts to me for all of us. As it was, I allowed myself the luxury of pure gratitude and appreciation for what I was given, and for the friends who gave it.
On Christmas Eve, we had dinner at Sydney and Richard's, along with other friends of theirs. Our traditional Mexican meal was delicious as always and Sydney's party favors amused us all. They were the kind of toy cars that go on their own once you spin their wheels a couple of times, and they flew around the table constantly after the meal was over, interrupting conversations and lending a childlike atmoshere of fun and levity.
So, in spite of my fears that changes and recent events might adversely effect our holiday, nothing of the kind took place. If anything, the preceding weeks probably made the occasion seem all the more worthwhile. It was a kind of symbol of steadfastness in the face of change. It pointed up the importance of ritual and constancy without inflexibility. We have all experienced many kinds of Christmases throughout our considerable individual lifetimes. Each in its turn is appropriate and notable, in its own way, the best.