It's a dismal, windy, rain-at-times-heavy kind of day in Nova Scotia, and I'm recovering from a 48-hour flu. But it's been a good Christmas anyway. My brother got in yesterday at noon and my grandmother stayed over last night. It was a good dinner last night (Scandinavian-style, we have the feast on Christmas Eve) -- we stayed up late and between my father, brother, and I we polished off an entire bottle of brandy. I swear it was mostly them. (My mother stuck to ouzo on ice.)
There has been some friction between my father and I on various topics over the past years, but it's good that we can set that kind of thing aside for a festival dinner. I feel pretty fortunate to have a family I enjoy sitting around a table drinking with. Christmas wouldn't be much fun, otherwise.
I'm an atheist, so I suppose it's sort of odd I still like to make a big deal out of Christmas, but I say the secular version is still a pretty good holiday. It's important to have at least one time a year to gather the family around a table, and giving presents to loved ones is both fun and worthwhile. I think I did pretty well this year, and by that I mean I managed to find things that people actually wanted.
I know that quite a few of the people likely to bother reading this don't celebrate Christmas, but I'm going to wish you a Merry Christmas anyway. I hope you will accept it in the spirit of Howard Tayler's Muslim friend:
I gave a Christmas present to my Ramadan-celebrating muslim friend at work, along with the apology, "Dude, I know you don't celebrate Christmas, but this is for you."
He responded with what I believe to be sage wisdom: "I don't celebrate Christmas, but I do accept Christmas presents. Thank you." [+]
Merry Christmas, everybody!