I love surprises. Well, the fun kind anyway. (heehee)
I mentioned earlier how I received cards and tokens of love from all over. As I've gotten older, gifts have been minimal -- but always thoughtful. I receive with an open heart. You could wrap dirt and I would marvel at how wonderfully thoughtful it was to even have it wrapped. I'm not great about presentation. I put my heart into the gift but often forget about the wrapping and bows and such. So when something arrives all pretty and decorated, I have a difficult time opening it (ruining the artwork/wrapping).
I'm also impatient. Usually I can't be trusted around a package that isn't clearly marked "Do not open till Christmas." I love the anticipation. But if I think I have permission, I'll open it right away. Not this year. I put most of my cards and gifts by the ... um ... wreath. No tree this year. The wreath was my pine smell for the season.
On Christmas Eve (after I got home from dogwalking and gatherings) I lit candles in my two favorite candle holders. One was a gift from Mia for my birthday this past year. The other was made by Nadine last year. Both are gifts that keep on giving.
Instinctively I turned the TV on. It was exactly midnight. Midnight Mass had just begun. After years of avoiding all things Catholic, I left it on in the background while I sat with Hunny, the candles and cards/gifts, mostly unopened. I was surprised to find myself speaking the prayers in response to the services. It was a beautiful ceremony -- being able to look beyond the "do as I say and fear me" aspects of all I was taught growing up.
My intention was to open the gifts and cards that night because I was scheduled for six dogwalks on Christmas Day. Instead, I fell asleep immediately following mass. As you can see, Hunny was fast asleep before me.
So, just like when I was a kid, Christmas Day was the gift-opening day. One package that took me by complete surprise was the box delivered from Andrea. It was like the never-ending stocking, stuffed with little trinkets and thoughtful gifts -- including two boxes of gourmet chocolates from her home town. Oh, and do you recognize the Life Savers Man? Andrea's the only one I know who would find a Hershey's Kiss Candle (with a note: don't eat the candle). Thank you Andrea. I'm teary all over again.