Friday night we officially began our Yule celebrations.
In case you missed it — we celebrate our own personal soup of holiday traditions in the McTague/Christensen family. Although it sometimes comes after Yule begins, this year Chanukah was early, so we began our candle-lighting before Winter Solstice. Now, however, we have lit the Winter candle, given our thanks for the previous year, for the blessings of the sun, offered our prayers, and made our wishes for the blessings the sun will bring us in the next year.
Saturday night, my parents, otherwise known as “Nana and Grandpa George”, arrived and we drove them directly to the Butterfly Herbs (company and friends) Christmas Party. Natalie and I were musing on the way to pick them up at the airport that this was one hell of an idea to expect the grandparents to arrive after an entire day of travel and be whisked right into a potentially raucous holiday throw-down with a room full of people they don’t and might not really want to know (no offense, Butterflies…). But we reasoned — and reason prevailed — that this was the single best way to get my parents, Echo, and us to food as quickly and easily as humanly possible; and not just any old “food”, it was a buffet, and it was a delicious array of all kinds of good food, from fresh veggies, and deli meats and cheeses, to Salmon and shrimp, and pecan pie and cream puffs. So we dragged the travel-worn elders into snowy Missoula, sans luggage, right from the airport luggage complaint line to the lovely Stensrud Building in downtown, into a full house of feasting friends (of ours) of all ages, and set all of us up at the buffet. The grandparents were wonderful sports — especially sans luggage — and jumped right in and ate reasonably well, I believe, said hello to the two or three people that they know from Butterfly (it is our favorite café after all…), they watched Echo dance (Grandpa even joined in for a second), and then we all darted back out again into the cold and home to Gus (that’s our house’s name).
Nana and Grandpa George are tucked away now in the grandparents’ room, after a day of grocery shopping and present wrapping and good food eating — avec luggage, which arrived promptly at 6pm today…
While my parents stayed (both in Missoula and in their travel clothes) and Xideka arrived from her other house, I drove to Bozeman and back — across the winter wonderland of Yuletide Montana — to get Bella. The girls were barely back together for a second before they were involved in some pretend, then wrestling, then asking if they could give each other presents.
Bella was ecstatic to get Xi and Echo to open the gifts she’d brought them.
The McTague sisters are in the house. Grandparents are at the ready. And the Yule is on.
From our Gus to yours, and from our family to your family — Bon Yule! And Happy Holidays, too.
Be well. And peace to all.