I lie on the couch. The only illumination in the room comes from the brightly lit Christmas tree. Bulbs of every color twinkle from the branches. Manheim Steamroller plays on my dad’s CD player. The presents aren’t opened yet, but it doesn’t matter. Peace wraps me up like a warm fuzzy blanket.
That memory is Christmas to me.
There are other Christmas memories. Having Luke 2 beaten into me so I can recite my portion at church. Making pizzelle, an Italian pastry cookie. That anise flavor will always taste like Christmas to me. Driving to grandparents many hours away and playing in the family orchestra.
And reading. Reading has always been a part of Christmas for me. After all, the nearest family was eight hours away. While my parents drove, I read. We didn’t have any video games (portable or otherwise), and portable phones weren’t a thing yet. On every trip, I packed books. I read in the car. So many books! Most of them weren’t Christmas-y books. Many of them were Star Trek books, actually. Didn’t matter. I read on the way to visit family.
And reading is still part of Christmas for us. Oh, tonight we’ll be going to church. We’ll be hearing from The Good Book. We’ll once more revel in those old, old words, “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree…” We’ll check out the stockings hung on our mantle. We’ll sing carols and drink some egg nog.
But we’ll also have books. I think everyone in the family is getting at least one. I’ll be reading plenty in the next few days as we hunker down in these days between Christmas and New Year’s.
Because that’s just what Christmas is to me, and to us.
Merry Christmas, everyone. I pray you’re safe, that you have peace, and that you also get some reading in.