Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

It's finally Christmas. It doesn't seem like such a long lead up here. In New York, it always seemed like an interminable lead up. Like I reached my saturation point a week or two before the actual day arrived. It wasn't the not Christmas, or the meaning of Christmas. It was all the song and dance that went with it. Here, it just seems to lead up and happen, sort of like it should. Maybe Sinterklaas takes a little of the air out of Christmas. Seems like the bigger gifts are given then, maybe not.

We sang four extra times at church, although I missed the first one because I was in Ohio. Our last performance was last night. It started at 10:30. It was nice and quick. It always amazes me how many people show up for church only on Christmas Eve. Seems wrong in a way. Of course I'm a church goer, so I have a different standard. F went to church in Haarlem. It was the last service for his parents and sister. The whole family, except Marge, her husband Henk and me were there.

When I arrived home, we opened a bottle of wine and then opened the gifts. F prefers to do it on Christmas Eve. I'm more of a Christmas morning person, but it's not a big deal. He gave me a set of knives - straight blade - proving he really does listen. I also got a pair of house shoes for the summer and some chocolate from Vienna - kugel, they're all over Saltzburg. I gave F another pair of pajama bottoms and the box set of the first three Star Wars movies. He had them on video, and said something about not having them in a watchable format. Plus, this has a whole DVD of bonus material, and I love bonus material. I have one more idea, but it didn't occur to me until it was too late to make it to the store without makeing a big show. It's just a fun gift, nothing to make a show of. I'll find it and give it later.

We didn't wake up until 11:00 today and we have to leave the apartment at 4:00 to get to Ada's house. It's sure to be the usual suspects there - her husband, Bart; daughter, Mariela; son, Martijn. Last but not least will be Mariela's boyfriend, Mense.

Our plans for tomorrow are to have dinner here with Henk and Yvonne. It's Tweede Kerstdag - Second Christmas Day. It's a national holiday. UPC also gave us Tuesday off. Third Christmas Day, but who's counting?

So it's nice here. Low key. F forbade me from doing a load of wash, but encouraged me to clean the fish bowls. Something about it being Sunday.

Merry Christmas.

1 comment:

Julie Manning said...

Hi Andy -

My parents were here part of the week for Christmas and my dad suggested I read your stuff - he enjoys your writing style. Glad you're having a good holiday. Catherine, Andy and I had a nice quiet Christmas morning and now they're with their dad. Tish urged me to drive to Cinci today - but I thought I would try my first ever Christmas (at least part of it) alone. Hasn't been too awful really. Anyway, glad you're doing well. Take Care - Julie