A Christmas bone

It’s Christmas morning, and so far I’ve had a coffee in bed and read for an hour, exchanged a message with a friend, replied to a work email, and had a shower. We went for a walk then, Rigby and I, much as we would on a Saturday morning – only it’s Friday now, and Christmas as well, and Cheeseboy and Bailey weren’t there waiting for us.

Still, I stopped at the cafe, which is our usual meeting point. It was open for the morning, and as I have for weeks on end went to order a coffee – which they well and truly know by now. After exchanging a Merry Christmas, they convinced me to buy an almond croissant also. A few minutes later, one of the staff we’ve come to know well, a French woman, came out to us with the coffee. “Made with love,” she said.

We’re home now, and will be until later in the afternoon. I’m happy to keep to myself. I have strong memories of Christmas past, and I think it was the memory of that which cast a shadow on Wednesday. It’s become a Christmas ritual of my own, the melancholy recalling happier days, and loved ones now past. I’m back on the straight and narrow now.

While I was out, I exchanged friendly nods with passers-by and Christmas greetings. Going out and coming back I observed a kid of about 10-12 zipping around the block on his (presumably new) motorised skateboard. I remember that feeling myself, though it’s many years past now. One year I got a bike, and as soon as we’d finished unwrapping presents I was out on the road with it, showing it off to friends and getting a load of the exciting stuff Santa had left them.

Later today, I’m off to JV’s for a Christmas dinner. He wants me there, so I’m happy to attend, though I feel a bit funny about it.

Initially, his parents – from Sydney – were due to be there also and I was happy to attend. I have great affection for his dad and was happy to join their small party. They never made it, and now it’s just me with JV and his young daughter. I feel like I shouldn’t be there – I’m not family – but recognise how forlorn it would be just the two of them acting it up for Christmas – this is his first Christmas as a father and single man. I’ll be there then, getting in the festive spirit, or acting it out, anyway.

Other than a friend in Sydney, I haven’t contacted anyone today. After the mad headlong rush first thing Christmas morning, I expect that I’ll start getting messages through on my phone and Facebook. I’ll respond with good cheer, and in fact, as I write this, I have Christmas carols playing in the background.

I have things to do before then. I’m bringing a dish and must make it first. I might make some egg nog, just for the hell of it. And I have yet to give Rigby his gift – a delicious big bone to chew on. What more could you ask for on Christmas Day?

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