There is a girl upstairs, with new knitting needles, twisting yarn into a hat.
There is a boy in the next room, peering at pages of pictoral instructions, assembling Legos into a ship.
There is another girl at the table across from me, painting stones with flowers and sunsets and ladybug spots.
And there am I, on the couch, a story on my lap, a mug of tea balancing on my knee. And there is only the sound of concentrated breathing, and the hum of the furnace, and the low howl of the winds across the fields.
And the blur of clouds. And the call of birds as they cut across the windows and sail overhead. And the spin of the world. And the patient whisper of the sky.
After all the noise, after all the hustle, after all the planning and cooking and wrapping and worry and clenched teeth and hitched shoulders and set brows. Now there is quietness. Now there is peace. And the world blesses itself once again.
Sometimes, the best holiday, is a not-holiday. Sometimes the best holiday is the pause between.
And so, to all of you, happy between, and a merry not-holiday to each and every one of you. In the meantime, I have a story to write and a mug of tea threatening to go cold. Cheers!