Sunday, December 25, 2011

Ecovillage Christmas

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good day!

With apologies to Clement Moore, here at Ma'ikwe's off-grid house the first thing you want to know on a winter day is whether you'll have solar gain. Thus, this Christmas morning we were pleased to see a star rising in the East. And not just any star, I'm talking about the sun—which translates into natural abundance in a way that Santa Claus' materialism never will.

But don't get me wrong. We're not grinching it.
(Actually, that's not quite true. Last night I knocked back a couple of Grinch cocktails that Kurt—proprietor and head bartender—had whipped up for the occasion of Christmas Eve at the Milkweed Mercantile. Though I'd never heard of that particular cocktail before, they were a tasty green concoction featuring Midori, lemon juice, and simple syrup, garnished with a bright red cranberry. While there's only a brief window of time when such a thing might be considered fashionable, we're in that 36-hour zone now.)

I'm pecking away at my keyboard in the sunny (hooray!) living room next to the wood stove with a fresh cup of coffee, awaiting the start of the stocking opening ritual. The family configuration this year is Ma'ikwe, Jibran, Marqis (Jibran's Dad), and me. It's a sweet, light-hearted time when each participant gets to offer each other presents that are a peculiar mixture of desirable, appreciative, and amusing (sometimes it's a fine line, with the giver and receiver not necessarily agreeing on which of those three labels a gift should be assigned).

It's fun covertly collecting hints about what someone covets over the preceding months, hoping to impress loved ones with your perspicacity and cleverness Christmas morn. The one that most impressed me was The World's Largest Crossword Puzzle (with over 28,000 clues it takes up a 7-foot by 7-foot chunk of flat surface—we're talking about a serious commitment to interior decorating), that Ma'ikwe had resisted buying at the full retail price of $60, and then subsequently scored for $1.50 at a thrift store. Now that's when you know the Force is with you!

I have no idea when we'll have the courage (or wall space) to open that baby up. Meanwhile, there are board games to test drive, movies to watch, books to read, specialty condiments to savor, and new clothes to break in.

For today's big meal we're going to walk over to Mark & Alyson's at Red Earth Farms this afternoon for the traditional holiday trifecta of confections, conversation, and conviviality. I hope you and yours have every bit as much fun on tap for the day.

No comments: