It's December the 24th and my Christmas tree is finally up. But there are no ornaments on it.
My friends tease me because I don't like to decorate my home for Christmas very early in the month of December. In the Christmases of my youth, we would always wait until Christmas eve to decorate the tree. There's nothing like feeling the season when you're hanging ornaments, listening to carols, sipping creme de vie and smelling the intoxicating smell of the pork roasting all day in all of the garlicky goodness that is our Cuban Nochebuena.
So I like to wait. It's not that I don't love Christmas. I totally do. I love everything about it.
And it's not like I haven't been busy. I finished all my shopping by the first week of December (thank you, Cyber Monday).
We (by "we," I mean Lucy) have made vats of creme de vie. It's all been bottled and tagged and delivered to our friends. This includes my dearest Desi Arnaz Jr. (see photo below). *sigh*
(I'm kind of in love with my tags this year, but that's not important right now.)
This past week I have been busy hanging our Christmas stockings, by the chimney with care, of course. ;-)
I have already given my girls their traditional matching Christmas PJs.
This week I also stocked my hutch with my favorite Christmas dishes.
We (again, by "we," I mean Lucy) have made countless Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies. (That also means we have eaten countless Peanut Butter Kiss Cookies, but that's not important right now.)
I edited and packaged our annual Christmas video and a family keepsake photo album of the highlights of everyone's year. They are all wrapped, tagged, and ready to give to the rest of the family tonight at our annual Nochebuena celebration.
The kids made our annual run to Porto's already this morning. (25 tamales, 25 croquetas de jamón, 25 pastelitos de guayaba, 25 pastelitos de coco, 25 pastelitos de guayaba y queso, 4 loaves of Cuban bread, a dozen papas rellenas, and some steak sandwiches to get us through the day. =D)
But it's already noon on Christmas Eve, and my Christmas tree is still not decorated. And I'm okay with that.
Let me explain. My son, Adam, just got home today. Happily, he'll be with us for the rest of the week. He arrived on the o-dark-hundred flight from San Francisco and barely slept last night. He's here and napping now.
He was so looking forward to coming home for Christmas and he wouldn't be putting up a Christmas tree in his world. And so, I am completely content to wait with that dark tree in my living room.
When Adam wakes up from his nap, we will hang the ornaments, listen to Christmas Carols, sip some creme de vie, and enjoy the intoxicating smell of the garlicky goodness that is our Cuban Nochebuena.
I'll be reminded of the Christmases of my childhood and we will have made a memory. Isn't that what Christmas is all about?
Feliz Navidad, my friends!