Ask this boy! 🙂
Grandson Bruno (here wearing my sparkly hat and glasses) is waiting patiently for his third Christmas and the pine smell of the tree is already bringing magic into his house. This is a year I decided to once again try hard to DO Christmas. Why? Because for once I wasn’t trying to cram an impossible eleventh-hour achievement of this year’s goals into the last two weeks of the year – I’d given that up early, for once 🙂 Grandchildren help you to do that…something has to give! So, I was free to look at what we HAD done – and had – this year, and celebrate it, however wistfully and frugally.
Yes, there were hopes and goals that didn’t materialise; but by Jove! (as my father was wont to exclaim), though ‘much is taken, much abides’, as Ulysses says in Tennyson’s inspiring “Idylls of the King.” I remember the best Christmas and holiday we ever had as a family was one year when we decided to have a ‘poor man’s Christmas’. We bought a leaky clinker dinghy and went North to stay with my parents and go boating on the Whangaroa harbour and swimming in the local creek, and other things that cost nothing but a little planning. After the holiday we sold the boat again and so it was virtually free. And we still have the photographs…
As I said in my last post here, the making of a photographic record of 2015 for a christmas card was a great thing for the igniting of gratitude in the midst of the ever-present struggles of life. Since then I have redone it to put in a few more images for something like balance, though still very far from completeness. Here are jpegs of the card, and if you didn’t receive a printed one, accept this as our offering to you this Christmas. Oh, and let’s all reread the wonderful “A Christmas Carol”, by Dickens! (another exclamation of my late father’s, God rest his soul). (Did you know that Dickens was in dire financial straits when he had the Scrooge inspiration and this one little book, self-published, brought him back from the brink!)
The first page of the card now includes a little stone from the beach below our land in Kaiwaka that I carved. Picking it up made me realize what a gift the natural physical things around us are. One little brown stone accretion, probably deposited millions of years ago… mine for the picking up and taking home. A precious epiphany.
Page two – now with Crocodile and Caesar’s penny from our Siblings Great Australian trip after our mother’s departure. And a Hyde Park squirrel, jumping for my potato chip 🙂
HAPPY CHRISTMAS, rich or poor!
Love from Peter Harris
AKA the ‘Wizard’ of Eutopia