Things have been pretty hectic at my kitchen table the last few weeks. I thought I was so smart -- finishing my Christmas shopping in November -- but then there was the wrapping. And the last minute gift ideas that are just too good to pass up. And the baking. And the mulling of wine. And the drinking of mulled wine. And the friends over for dinner. And, oh yeah, the whole year end thing at work -- which pays for all this.
But it's now the week of Christmas. And if you believe that the Twelve Days of Christmas end (not begin) on December 25th that puts us at "eight maids a-milking" today. And to be quite honest, my heart just isn't in it.
How did it get to be December 21st? Wasn't it just July?
The boyfriend and I are heading to Calgary this year to spend several days with good friends. We fly out of Vancouver on December 25th and we are taking our little dog. (This is where the sweater knitting comes in. I'm not a person who believes in dressing dogs up. Especially my dog. She may be small but she's mighty. And she doesn't suffer fools gladly -- two-legged or four-legged. But it has been - 30 Celcius (-22 F) with the windchill and I don't care how much hair you have on your body -- that's damned cold. The sweater and boots are for her own good. She begs to differ.) We are looking forward to some time off work and to seeing our friends, but Christmas sentiment? It hasn't arrived. Normally by this time of year I'm sick to death of chocolates, and Christmas carols (that have been playing since Halloween) and the political correctness of "the holiday season". But I just had my first chocolate today, and I'm humming "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas" only because I keep seeing the Telus commercial on TV. And it's a catchy little ditty.
The days have flown by. It really was just July. Is it that I'm getting older and soon the entire year will just be one big blur?
The boyfriend has a theory. The reason time seems to pass quicker as we age is that we have more memories and we know what's coming next. Think about driving to a new place. It seems to take forever to get there. The anticipation. Have we driven too far? Should we have turned left back there instead of right? What will be there, waiting for us? Everything is new and unfamilar. But the drive home? It seems to take half the time. Why? Because we have seen the sights and remember what is just up around the next bend in the road. We know what is waiting for us when we get home. Piled up mail. Wilted plants. Dirty laundry.
I'm not saying Christmas is like dirty laundry. But it's familiar and known. The memories are there from Christmas's past. That's why I'm counting on my little dog this year. Never before has she flown on a plane. Never before has she worn a bright pink turtle-neck sweater with pink shearling doggy boots. Never before has she been in -30 Celcius. And never before has she met our friends' Maine Coon cat, Mr. Big. I have heard it said that Christmas is for children. They bring to it an unabashed joy and no expectations. The boyfriend and I don't have children. We have a dog. So I'm going to try to look at it through her eyes this year -- and experience all the joy and wonder anew. Ok, maybe just the turkey and Christmas tree, but you know what I mean.
(Cass is sure these are all for her -- photos of her in her new sweater and boots to follow)