Christmas at Sycamore Hill
It seems strange to discuss the wonderful white Christmas we had for our first here on the Hill when the house is currently being enveloped by fog after thunder and lightning just this morning. But this is Indiana.
My kids were genuinely concerned that Santa might have a hard time finding them this year since we changed addresses. Particularly concerning to them was the fact that we had no fireplace here like we did in town. I tried to relieve those fears by saying "we still have a chimney" and I suppose Santa participates in the USPS forwarding program-so we should be good. But just in case my daughter insisted we leave the little door built into the cabinet under the chimney in our living room wide open. Easy enough.
This first Christmas here needed to have a spectacular tree. Reeling from the sticker shock I have already circled a selection of Balsam Firs in the new tree/seed catalogs that came out. 20 trees for $40 in 10 years when the first is ready to harvest would be much cheaper than the $80 a tree they will be costing at that time.
We drive to Lafayette each Christmas Eve to spend the day with my wife's mother's side who hail from that area. On the way back we had our traditional Christmas Eve supper at McDonalds in Rochester. I built up the anticipation around a special event that evening which I insist will become a new tradition for the family. When we returned home the kids grabbed their flashlights and I my Coleman lantern and together the family climbed the hill at the back of the farm and sang Silent Night. I asked if there were requests for other carols and there was a resounding NO. But I think they had fun regardless.
Christmas day the kids were up bright and early as would be expected. Santa didn't disappoint. A camera and ice skates for my daughter and a football, football game, and football cards for my son. I received a Carhart jacket. My wife's favorite gift was a cheap antique ring I picked up the week before. Then off to my folks for brunch. Last night was the last of our Christmases as we celebrated with my wife's family. The perfect gift-tickets to see Garrison Keillor-was wrapped waiting for me. That seemed to round out a perfect Christmas season.