This weekend was a whirlwind of Christmas.
There were rehearsals for a Christmas show, Patrick's work Christmas party, and my favorite: Our annual Christmas extravaganza for our friends.
When I was in college, I started the tradition of inviting all of my closest friends over for a simple Christmas dinner, a gift exchange, and a relaxing evening of games and socialization. At first, that meant ten people crammed into a dorm room eating chicken I had prepared in my crock-pot (which may or may not have been against the rules), exchanging hand-made trinkets, and talking until the wee hours of the morning.
Yesterday, fifteen of our closest friends gathered in our townhome, eating all day long to try to make a dent in the enormous amounts of food, and playing cards and chatting until we all parted company at the Very Late Hour of 10:00 pm! Ah, how parenthood changes you . . . :)
In all seriousness, however, it was a lovely day. At one point, I looked down from the stairs over a living room filled to the brim with people I love dearly, and never seem to see enough. People had gathered in pairs or groups, talking and laughing. A fire crackled and popped in the fireplace. Miles was running from person to person, putting a hand on one, crawling into the lap of another, while Dominic followed behind, sniffing for any scraps of food that may have made it to the floor. Snow was glittering outside in the twilight, and cold winds whistled, trying desperately to find a crack to come in. But inside, viewed from the stairs above, all was warmth, and peace, and love.
And as cheesy as it sounds, that's what Christmas should be. And I can't wait for next year's gathering.