Bernie only had to work eight hours today, and so he's home by 2:30 this morning. I'll be able to wake him up by a little after nine in the morning, rather than have to let him sleep until noon or later! That in and of itself is a great Christmas gift to me.
This is our 30th Christmas as lovers. That first Christmas we spent apart, still unmarried by a few months, conventionally staying with our respective parents. We hated doing that, and have regretted it every single Christmas since. After all these years, we've come to the conclusion that there aren't enough years available. Thirty of them are -- nothing. A wink of an eye. A sneeze.
He brought me flowers. Thinking he might sneak them into the kitchen for me to find in the morning, he brought home a bundle of dark purply-red carnations, the color of Advent. He didn't know I was dozing in the kitchen tonight, keeping watch on the fire. When he touched the front door, my dog Howie leaped off the other comfy chair in the kitchen and flew, baying like a hound, to challenge the sound.
And so I saw him come in the door, home for the holidays. With flowers, with love.
I'll keep watch in the kitchen here for the rest of the night so that the fire doesn't go out, and I don't count that as a burden -- that's what people used to do long before central heating; that's what this time of year is all about, keeping watch in the night. When the morning comes, I'll sic both dogs on him and bounce on the bed to wake him, to tell him it's time to make the day holy with our marriage, to truly begin the holi-day.