Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas in Colorado

Denver got enough snow and plenty of cold
weather to hold it for a white Christmas.
If you add in the 11 hours from Florida, plus the 36 or more from Colombia, it has taken me the better part of two days to get here. But it's been well worth it!

First, there is really nothing like a White Christmas to get you into the mood of celebrating if it's what you grew up with, and I did, so snow is good for that.

Second, seeing almost all of my grandchildren is gratifying, and watching them open presents was alternately fun and horrifying.  I think there is some kind of cicada gene that comes out when children are faced with more than one present to open and they rip into the carefully wrapped paper and ribbon like grasshoppers on fresh green leaves, shredding everything within reach in seconds.

Windows dressed in holiday lights... and
lots of white stuff outside as well.
No one said, "Oh, this is what paper from Colombia is like," or. "You brought this all the way from South America for me?" It was: get this one opened, on to the next, what's in that one, and then finally, in the famous song by Peggy Lee, "Is that all there is?"

Then like an addict after the high has passed, the children all collapsed in tearful heaps, exhausted from getting up in the dark to open stockings, jumping on their father, yelling to come down and "Let's open the presents!!" and always, always, someone is disappointed there was no pony under the tree. (This year it was me... LOL!)

Santa Claus reads "T'was the Night Before Christmas" to the crowd of
children of all ages, big and small... not a creature was stirring while he did.
We had an invitation for a Christmas Eve party and enjoyed a huge selection of feast goodies - everything from ham and salmon to mini-quiches, hot spinach dip and hard candies filled with jelly, as reminders of Christmases long ago. Best of all was the arrival of Santa Claus and I got all teary-eyed listening to him read "T'was the Night Before Christmas" because my father used to read that story to us as our go-to-sleep-Santa-will-be-here-soon evening tale. I looked around at all the eager little faces who were creating their own re-membories and thought about how I had read that fable to my children, too.

Santa Claus said he no longer smokes a pipe and he's been
on a diet for the past few years, so no more "jelly belly"
either. He sang a funny song about himself in earlier years
being unable to fit down the chimney - in tune, too!
After all the children had their chance on Santa's knee, some of the adults wanted a photo taken. I was persuaded to step up and have my daughter take mine; she caught me telling him that it had been a long time since I'd been on his knee... and when I said "We are nearly the same age, Santa," he laughed and said, "Well, not really since I am three days younger than God..."

Anyone who might remember the Karcher Mall Santa Claus from Boise, Idaho, will recall a very gentle man who lived like he thought Santa lived during the non-Christmas months. This Santa Claus in Denver, with a real beard, reminded me of those long-ago days of someone who perhaps convinced my girls that Santa was 'real' when their friends were trying to prove he wasn't. I wanted to keep the magic alive for as long as possible. It was wonderful that my daughter's new family found this exceptional representation of the mystical Claus for all the children to see and talk to.

A memorable Christmas by all accounts.
Now it's all over, including the shouting and celebrating, and we move on to another celebration of the incoming year. My grandchildren are growing up and becoming interesting young people, ones I hope I will get to know better in 2012.

But for certain I want to return to Colombia and continue working on my creative projects as well as traveling back to the U.S. for family events. Praying for good health for all my readers and for world events to move toward peace and acceptance of all peoples so we can stop the violence. I know that some people think that's an unrealizable dream, but I am still going to intend that individuals around the world are all beginning to realize that we are all one, that we can change things so that everyone, everywhere has enough of all the life-sustaining elements (water, food, shelter) so that each one, and particularly the children, all have what is needed, for the highest and best good of all concerned, so be it and so it is.... WHOOOOOOO!

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