Wednesday, December 25, 2013

On Christmas Day in the Morning - São Sebastião

I am sitting here in the delightful wreckage of presents and wrapping, coffee and panettone. It really doesn't matter where you spend Christmas; it is the same. The arguments last night over how much longer the suckling pig should be roasted, the overeating, the lighting of candles, the kids falling asleep on couches while waiting for Santa to appear.

Appear he did and stuffed the two huge stockings made for the boys by one of their godmothers (we call her GM Susan) with books and chocolate and games and frisbees. The cookies were half eaten, the reindeer had scarfed up the lettuce. 

I know that this is their last year of believing in Santa--already their older brother is threatening to spill the beans today. And that is okay because truly it may be time for them to know how people not an imaginary man try their best to fulfill their wishes. And of course they have their 9-month old cousin to convince of the chubby white-bearded delivery man.

Half a cookie and a bit of lettuce left over from Santa and Rudolph

Shadowing ("asombrando" in Portuguese) the delights is the other passage of time. 94-year old Nonna had an episode last night at the dinner table where she blacked out briefly and needed help to get to the bathroom and to leave the table. She is the much-loved matriarch here but the slow decline has more than begun. It has accelerated. We may be without more than Santa next year.

And we await news of my uncle James, the artist uncle, the best friend of one of my sons this summer. He was hospitalized three days ago with a weak heart. It is at these times that I deeply feel how far away Brazil is from the US (and California is six hours time change away as well). We get news in bits from my aunts, late at night, waiting up.

Soon we'll head to the beach and sit and watch the waves come in and the waves go out. 

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one 

Without any fear
And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The road is so long. 


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