I took this photo on Christmas Eve, 2014 and my kitchen does not look much different as I write this. I am currently putting the finishing touches on the 2nd thing I’ve made for the day, with the 3rd dish waiting to go into the oven, and ingredients for the 4th dish are waiting in the wings. No matter the year, my house looks much the same on December 24th, and yet in my heart, there has been so much change.
I am a creature of habit. I thrive within routine, and find comfort in the “sameness” that is the very lifeblood of tradition. After a year such as the one we have had, with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, there has been great comfort in the sameness of today. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been flustered more than once during the cooking frenzy. There have been swear words. One child has acted out and cried, the other has been camped out in his room all day, like the almost-teenager that he is. My husband has been trying to keep us all in balance, a job he always does with the dexterity of a tight rope walker. No, comfort does not always mean that things are perfect. It means that they are what we know.
I appreciate that, any given Christmas Eve, it is almost certain (because nothing is completely so), that you will find me in the kitchen, making a mess, swearing, possibly drinking. My kids will be doing exactly what they do, my husband will be helping me when he can, and building train tracks for someone small in between. It may not be pretty, but it’s what we know, and I will always find a wealth of joy in that.
Merry Christmas, friends.