Wednesday, December 22, 2010
You just can't be a humbug about Christmas when one of your adopted kittens arrives in the mail on the front of a Christmas card. I'm fairly certain that candy cane wasn't photoshopped in there, and I can just see in my mind's eye, someone slowly easing it under Phillip's paw while he was snoozing...
When your next Christmas card is from a couple who adopted a kitten from you oh-so-long ago and their note says "Amelia is still hanging in there at nineteen and a half, moving slowly, but still moving!" you can't help but smile even wider.
When the phone rings, and yet another adopter says "Let's do dinner this week; I have presents for the cats..."
It makes you contentedly brew up a pot of coffee and get to work on that unfinished pile of Christmas cards of your own.
Christmas changes for all of us over the years. From the giddy anticipation of childhood, to the adult glow of seeing loved ones open gifts you carefully chose for them, to years of sadness when you may have faced Christmas alone, to other years when you reach beyond family to the community, and discover the quiet solid joy of volunteering with a food pantry or your church, or sharing dinner with a friend or neighbor.
This year Christmas sort of crept up on me. I did not have my holiday party this year. The most I could muster as far as decorations were my two little out-of-the-box artificial trees, the red bows on the fence in front of the house, and pine boughs in the window boxes of the cat facility. I can't quite comprehend that Christmas is this coming Saturday. When you work from home, there are no peripheral office parties and decorated cubicles, no Christmas trees in the the lobby, no stopping at the store on the way home and greeting the bell-ringers with a dollar a day or emptying the change from your pockets each time you see one (I stuffed a five in the kettle in front of the Big M last weekend, knowing I might only run into them one more time before the holiday arrived). You don't really realize how much you count on the random "Merry Christmas!" and "Happy Holidays!" salutations to pull you into the holiday community, until they aren't really there.
There's just the carols on the radio--which seem sort of disembodied without the rest of the holiday tinsel. And the wonderful, wonderful Christmas cards. Then the Big Day arrives and when you climb in the car for dinner and hugs in some other city. And then it's over. The next day, the carols are abruptly gone from the radio airwaves. Just like that.
But oh, those Christmas cards make a person smile! They are still here after Christmas, too, in a glittering pile on the coffee table.
My own cards will likely be late (maybe not!) arriving in the mailboxes of others. But Phillip and his candy cane sure made the task even more enjoyable.
May your days before Christmas bring you increasing joy!
Other cat rescue Christmas posts:
Black Cat Rescue
Animal Shelter Volunteer Life
and just in case you thought having a cat and a Christmas tree was bad, click here.