The day after

Ooh me, what a happy and good Christmas. Today was such a nice epilogue to it all- leftovers, a bit of packing, going through gifts once more, walking off excesses of the days prior, and, critically, lazy R&R. We are the family who wears matching flannel PJ bottoms and leaves the pies out on the counter, a communal fork in each dish. No one cares if you eat via wedge or advancing front line. Blankets are left unfolded, logs laid anew each time an old fire burns out. People eat, sleep, drink, leave whenever they want, and no one takes offense if one needs silence, another a nap, yet another wants a glass of bubbly at lunch. We watched Christmas Vacation, snort-laughing the whole way through, and I got the go-ahead --finally! hallelujah! -- to clean mom's closet and discard too many pairs of shoes that all looked the same and were coated with a generous layer of dust.  Stories told, memories shared, laughter erupted, photos reminisced over and admired. Visitors were greeted warmly, a wake for a family friend too-suddenly gone was attended, the pajama pants were washed and put back on. Tomorrow we head to New Orleans for a wedding, somewhat sad to leave this happy cocoon but also aware that none of us ever has a bad time in New Orleans.

And then, sadly, we part ways, grateful for this week of coming together and forward-looking to all to which we'll return.