Tonight was a church leadership Christmas party here at my parents’ home. We started cranking out food in earnest on Monday night and managed to have a table full of tempting treats for this evening’s guests. It’s a lot of work, but it’s so very much fun.
After everyone had gone home, and it was just us and the flickering candles, I paused and remembered:
Remembered being young, when Mama would send us upstairs before the guests arrived with cookies and milk for our own private party. Remembered eating rum logs and wedding cakes, sitting on Fisher Price chairs, wearing flannel Lanz nightgowns. Remembered laying in bed, covers pulled up to chin, listening, listening:
Small talk and serious talk and peals of laughter, but best of all, singing. All of those voices, voices so very familiar to me, would join to sing Christmas hymns. And the sound would reach us, tucked under the covers, eyes wide and peering into the darkness. (Sometimes the sound would reach us, tip-toeing out of bed to the top of the stairs, where we could hear better, and maybe — oh, maybe! — get a glimpse of a party-goer!)
Then the good-byes, as couple after couple found coats and gloves and scarves and headed out into the cold night.
And then — quiet.
If we’d managed to keep our eyes open this long, we’d slip out of bed and quietly descend the stairs, and take in the leftover magic of the Christmas party. A house lit with candles. The smell of wassail wafting from room to room. Soft music playing on the stereo in the background. And a table full of leftover goodies!
The after-party was always the best part.
Tonight was Jameson’s debut on the instrument I just knew he’d love. While he loves all music, he “grooves” the most to anything with a strong walking bass. In fact, if I just sing a little walking bass line around the house, he’ll start dancing. Imagine, then, the joy in his little heart tonight when he discovered that Papa plays bass:
(I will say, the beautiful shine of the saxophone had him pretty intrigued, too. How much fun to think about him falling in love with an instrument! Can’t wait!)