Thursday, December 14, 2006

What Christmas is All About

This morning while Genevieve took her morning nap, Julia and I watched "A Charlie Brown Christmas" on video. (Video! So old-school.) Of course, she's really too young for it; she was full of all sorts of questions about why that girl is so loud (Lucy), why that boy is so dirty (Pigpen), why Charlie Brown is so sad, where are those children (in the auditorium, practicing their Christmas pageant, strangely bereft of adult supervision as always), why is that tree pink (at the tree lot, when Charlie Brown and Linus go to pick out a tree and are disgusted by all the colored metal ones--which makes me wonder: was there a big rash of pink aluminum Christmas trees in the '50s? Or whenever this show was made?). But, you know, it's a classic, and that moment when Linus starts his little speech always gets me a little teary ("I can tell you what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.").

After Genevieve woke up, we all put on our jackets and trooped next door to deliver a holiday card and some Christmas cookies to our beloved elderly neighbor, Mary. (Note: we also had a beloved elderly neighbor at our last house, on 19th Avenue in Minneapolis. We must collect beloved elderly neighbors! How lucky!)

All of this wouldn't have seemed so odd--and in fact, would have seemed a lot more Christmasy--if it wasn't a sunny, windy, 50-degree day outside today. So, naturally, after we dropped off our holiday cheer and chatted with Mary a little bit, Julia ogling her Santa and Mrs. Claus dolls on the living room bookshelf, we went for a walk with the stroller. Yup, nothing like a nice holiday walk through the....greenish grass and sidewalks damp with the rain that fell overnight!? Is this really Minnesota at Christmastime?

I, personally, could go for a little more ambiance, something a bit more Currier & Ives-ish. But, in the end, I guess it doesn't really matter, does it? We're still here, baking cookies and singing songs; we're still admiring the light-up reindeer and Santas in people's yards; we're still getting cards in the mail that remind us of everyone we love, near and far. Julia and Genevieve are our own little holiday angels this year, and every year from now on. I'm a total sap for Christmas, snow or no snow. But I've never experienced a Christmas without snow in my 35 years, so I'm still hoping.

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