Christmas Morning 2020

It is a superlative privilege this morning to awaken sans regret, sans hang-over, sans malady, sans disquiet, sans preoccupation. The only consequence of Christmas Eve (apart from having drunk too much coffee too late in the day) is a modest protuberance after last night’s plentiful and very acceptable meal. Already the shiny Christmas cards accumulated upon the mahogany desk have begun to lapse like wilting flowers, their erstwhile nutrition all but drained. Soon we shall tuck away the fluffy Teddybear into a drawer, behind an envelope carton or other more compelling provision no doubt for riotous discovery in June or July next. The evaporation and purge will linger until tomorrow, Boxing Day, while for some inexplicable reason we observe the decency of a funeral cortege.

During the night, animated no doubt by the espresso café, my thoughts wandered to the most unusual reminiscences. I re-visited Spring Garden Road in Halifax where I lived with two senior law students, one of whom is now practicing in Paris, France and Beijing, China; the other, a Superior Court Justice in British Columbia. Then like the whirling sleigh of Santa Claus I was transported to my late mother’s dining room on Christmas morning where the table was laden with linen placemats, Crown Derby side plates, sterling silver cutlery, crystal goblets and sparkling ornaments. In the kitchen the breakfast tradition of Champagne à l’orange, filet mignon, creamy scrambled eggs and croissants with homemade strawberry jam awaited the call to dine.

We have never exchanged Christmas gifts – or any gifts for that matter, neither birthday nor anniversary.  Our expressions are confined to utility and need. Just this morning for example His Lordship related the cost of a new Dyson vacuum cleaner. Our necessities have naturally dwindled over time. With similar philosophic dimension I have blended with the elemental requirements of nature. It would be preposterous to consider any vehicle of improvement other than what is within me already. All else is metaphorical. Beyond that it warrants only the label of excess, a credit which is oddly poisonous and insatiable.

Our agenda today is that of two old fogeys; viz., a country drive and an afternoon nap!  And then a restorative evening meal of tourtière and sweets for dessert!

Joyeux Noël!

Christmas Day, Arnprior, Ontario on the Ottawa River