We did Christmas a bit differently this year: in order to be back in NS at the same time as a brother and his family we flew out last week — the week before Christmas — to see everyone. Nellie flew the day before I did to see her mother; I joined them Monday and drove to the farm Tuesday. I played with a baby, rough-housed with my favourite dogs, watched my niece’s basketball game (in my first return to my old high school, 21 years after graduation…I nearly broke out into hives), played many games of crib and one of trivial pursuit (brother #2 and his other daughter with a stunning come-from-behind win), ate dad’s ice cream and mom’s pie and drank my brother’s beer, and generally relaxed like it was my job.
We opened a few gifts at my parents’ place, but one very special surprise: a quilt for each of my brothers and I (and our dad) at the request of my grandmother years ago before she died. It took our mother quite a while to find someone who could make the exact pattern she requested (the Boston Common) but the wait paid off: they’re beauties, and now we have quilts from my mother, Nellie’s aunt, and both of my grandmothers.
Back at the mother-in-law’s place we did another early gift opening, and wound up with some terrific local Benjamin Bridge sparkling, and a very cool graphic novel and print from one of Nellie’s cousins. The next day we flew home to Toronto whilst sat next to a screaming toddler. We dropped our bags, grabbed a late lunch at Triple A, and decompressed for the last few hours of our vacation.
Merry early Christmas, everyone.
Cover photo by Scott Nelson, used under Creative Commons license