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Less is more.

Our tree is more sparsely decorated each year, with lights and just a few ornaments now. This year, we topped it with a piece of Jake’s sculptures.

I love the surreal quiet of the outside world that is so distinct on Christmas day. Shops are closed and most travelers have arrived at their destinations, so the usual sounds of traffic are nearly nonexistent.

The customary cold weather has been on pause this season, so my windows are wide open. The birds sound like they’re celebrating this gift of warmth, playing tag and partying hard.

This morning, we each woke in our own time, coming together with good coffee and easy conversation, peaceful in our skin,  comforted by the company of each other. The few gifts under the tree were a modest but sweet addendum to the harmony we’ve created here. I’m so grateful for this.

My oven isn’t working, so I’ve got muffins baking in the toaster oven.
Jake is playing Beirut’s song, The Penalty on a ukelele. This will be a welcome ear-worm from Louis Prima’s rendition of Pennies From Heaven that’s been trapped in my head for days.
Oli is lying on the couch in his panda body suit, giggling giddily at a reddit post about farting.

Later, we’ll take a walk through the woods.
Tonight, we might watch a movie. Or play a game (Bananagrams? Exploding Kittens?).

Over the next few days, we’ll spend some time with people we deeply love; people who make us each feel cherished. This small family formed from blood and choice me feel so lucky.

This is the stuff that matters.