My Christmas is okay the way it turned out so far. I’ve attained a piece of grace that makes it possible even to listen to sad songs and not become sad because of them. I can appreciate them with a slight distance, since, right now, they are not pulled from the same earth where I am planted. But I do allow myself to dream.

You are not known to me yet, and may remain so for an unsure time. If we had a home, I’m not sure we’d have a tree; we’d have to talk about what it means. But other things are not so complicated. Cinnamon and pine needles. Chocolate and oranges. Presents. The smell of candles just being lit or blown out. Omelets and coffee and the morning paper. I could skip the act of pulling strings of tinsel from the vacuum cleaner without much grief. I can even forgive that you did not appear to me for this Christmas, because I am not yet ready to see you.

But I would always allow for Christmas lights. I could be reading in bed and you would come in from the hallway, wearing them like a tiara, smiling and holding back laughter as though you were bringing me a birthday cake. Green and blue and orange at your face like a melted rainbow, your face shaded in the darkness where the bedside lamp cannot find you. To see you having a silly moment that wasn’t meant to mean anything except to give excuse for me to untangle you. I would prefer that the lights not run or blink.

And God, to see snow on Christmas day. To walk out still wrapped in blankets. To share that childish excitement over such a common thing with someone who may curse to shovel the walk but is willing to fall down into it with me, snowman, snow angel. I’ll even allow you to wear a sweater like they wear on the shiny pages of Eddie Bauer; I may even like you in their scarves.

I won’t care what we get each other. I won’t worry over when this will happen, if indeed it does. It is one of those little wishes you make whether you see a falling star or not, or whether you’re too old to pick flower petals, throw pennies. Just thinking it up makes me smile.

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