In Which Our Heroine Contemplates a Very Niels Bohr Christmas

23 December 2003

Marymary has a line on her main journal page right now that says, "Structure is beauty." And every time I read it, my brain goes all Niels Bohr and decides that the opposite of a great truth is another great truth, and I mutter, "Yes, and chaos is beauty."

Today, I certainly hope so.

Yesterday's plan was a little thwarted by reality: the car people couldn't get me in until this afternoon. So I ran the rest of the errands, which were not inconsiderable, and I came home and had lunch and decided to take a breather for a minute before Andrew arrived. Luckily, I started doing some more tasks after awhile, because Andrew was four hours late. Also luckily, I had already decided to make risotto instead of feeding people leftovers when Andrew got here, so I didn't have to scramble for dinner. The wine was good, the dinner was good enough to disappear entirely (no leftovers taking up fridge space!), and we talked until almost two in the morning. And while I could have done with more sleep going into today, it was still good.

I'm really glad we're not traveling by plane this year, and our car travel is reasonable by my family's standards (five hours over to Milwaukee on the 27th and then the same in reverse on the 30th). I do kind of miss the long days of reading in the airport and on the airplanes -- I could use some long days of reading -- but it's definitely worth it to be home.

We opened Michelle and Scott's presents yesterday, and we'll open my aunt Mary's calendar, I mean surprise, today. And then tomorrow will be Christmas Eve. We're having Sarah and Jeff over for dinner tonight, and my old folks should show up right after that, and my folks sometime in the late evening, we hope, because the other alternative is that something crazy happens with my father's work and they can't come until earlyearly tomorrow morning. And there are many parts of the house still in need of cleaning, and many tasks still in need of doing, including wrapping Christmas presents and placing a last few Christmas decorations. Also it would be good if we did a few things like, y'know, pulling Mark's work stuff off the guest bed and putting sheets on it. And washing a last load of clothes or two. And that general category of accomplishment. I think I've finished making gifts for the year, though, so that's a relief. I still need to go to Byerly's when I take the car in: we lack granola and gjetost and Fazers and a few other items that may seem inessential from the outside but are worth braving Byerly's on the 23rd for.

In my family, we're all about braving things, albeit in a good mood. We go to the mall on the day of Christmas Eve. We have no fear. Last year, it was almost entirely empty, but most years it isn't; and we still don't care, because we're not about all that rush and hustle and buying, on Christmas Eve Day. We're about wandering and fingering things and babbling to each other. We're very good at moving past the Baby-Jesus-and-dancing-Santa store displays and recognizing that they have nothing to do with us and our Christmas.

So I'm going to try to remember that while it's important to get things ready and have things done, there are other things, mostly to do with people, that are more important to me and my Christmas. I don't know if I'll be posting each day while the relatives are here, or if it'll be some days, or if it won't be at all.

While I'm doing all this stuff, you may want to go read The Punk Piper, which, you will note, is for me! For me! All for me! Well, for me and now for you as well, thanks to Fables buying it. Peg and I talked about flute parts and then she wrote this poem and it is lovely and for me. I don't think I ever had a poem from someone who just liked me before. It's rather nice to have, and also I like the poem, which is good.

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