26 December 2005

merry christmas

Liturgically speaking (as most folks know from the song), Christmas is a twelve day celebration, lasting until January 6th, the feast of the epiphany of our Lord commemorating the arrival of the wise men to honor the Christ child. All that's to say, I'm still very much in time to wish you all a very happy Christmas.

Since gift-giving and receiving features so prominently in our American celebrations, it's always interesting to reflect upon the more unusual gifts received (at least the gifts one didn't pick out for oneself) and try to figure out what they say about the givers' perception of who one is and what one might enjoy.

My three-year-old daughter, for instance, is now probably one of the few toddlers in the world to have her own Starbucks member card, with $10 on it and the possibility of adding more. Grammy and Gramps, evidently, are quite aware of her fondness for sitting around the coffee shop sipping vanilla milk or strawberry-banana smoothies while her Daddy treats himself to some strong coffee.

Indeed, the other day, while sitting at a counter in a downtown location, Claire turned to me and observed, "I think they have a Starbucks in the Hundred Acre Woods now. When Pooh goes there, he orders honey." I suppose that when many of us were kids, it might have been a special trip to McDonalds that we begged for, but with Claire it's Starbucks. That in itself, along with my proclivity for Guinness and inability to avoid words like "narrative" or "missional," likely marks us as an "emerging" family, for better or worse.

As the primary cook in the house, I received some nice new cookware from my lovely wife: a non-stick griddle, a large saute pan, a silicone turner, and a nice new whisk. (This reminds me that I have been exceedingly delinquent with keeping up my cooking blog, but since I've cooked and baked a lot over the holidays, perhaps I'll be able to remedy that in coming weeks.) I've already used the griddle, turner, and saute pan, so I'm a happy camper. I also know that Laurel must still enjoy my cooking.

Laurel herself received a variety of gifts, included among them a CD entitled "Rhythm Tree" by a group called Baka Beyond. Though the music was for both of us, it suits Laurel particularly well since the group combines Celtic sounds (a long love of hers) with African rhythms (a fit interest for a former percussionist).

I hope everyone else had a great holiday. A blessed Christmastide to all.