A Family Christmas
27 years ago, my parents, my sister and I moved to
A couple of days ago, I realized that tonight, we will be nine people around the table celebrating Christmas and it was at that moment I realized how much our small immigrant family has grown. Over the years, Ken and Michele were added to our Christmas Eve and thanks to Janne and John, we now have the joy of children playing, as well. And I cannot wait to share the Danish Christmas with the kids, sharing our way of doing things with dinner first, then cleanup and then singing, sending them into a state of vibrating excitement before we start opening presents, one by one (ok, so the rest of us vibrate pretty intensely, too). They are old enough now that they can handle the delay and they are old enough now that we can sing carols first without it violating the Geneva Convention on torture. And I cannot wait to share it with David, who in a few hours will for the first time get dropped into the deep end of Danish Christmas – sink or swim, darling!
This evening is my favourite day of the year, my favourite holiday, my favourite meal - everything about this night is magical and what sends it from wonderful into the stratosphere of magic, the moment where it all comes together and your heart fills up is when we sing. Together, most of us not on key, only some of us understanding the Danish carols, but everybody giving it a try anyway, laughing until we can’t breathe at the phonetic pronunciation from the Canadian contingent, we mess up a particular song the way my father always did and bring him into the celebration with us, Janne and I add a little something to another carol that brings our Danish childhood back and we always, always end with the same song. This part of the evening is what does it for me every Christmas Eve, sends me into a place of no thinking, but pure in-the-moment joy and love, the connection between all of us so strong a feeling of family.
Glaedelig Jul! May your heart sing with the magic of small moments.