December 11, 2007
Christmas officially came to Hoboken last night when the mayor lit the Christmas tree. Children sang, politicians shook hands, and now there is a big tree lighted in front of City Hall. I missed the ceremony, but was there in spirit.
It was Christmas already for me because the movers brought my stuff in the morning. Four sturdy guys cussed and fussed as they brought about 20,000 cartons, small and large, of the stuff that has meant my life for the last 20 years (and some time before) up three flights of stairs to my new home. Now comes the unpacking and wondering why I'm keeping all this crap.
But by sundown yesterday I was already exhausted. I've felt more Christmassy this year than in my recent memory, and I didn't need the official ritual to bring the season home. Besides, my toe hurt. And I had been up and down those stairs entirely too many times that day. It was all I could do to stay awake until 8:30, but at least it was on my own bed in my own room. I tried to set up the bed frame by myself, but couldn't. So it was a mattress on the floor, complete with fancy new linens and lots of hope that things are on the way to getting better.
Along about 7:30 a little miracle happened. I heard lots of chatter and squealing coming from the street. I knew it must be carolers! I looked out the window and there they were, little ones and grownups, about 20 of them I'd say, and they formed both a brass band and a chorus. They stopped at a house across the street. They sang Hark the Herald Angels and Silent Night, and played a couple of nice carols on their horns. I loved it. I even forgave them "Frosty the Snowman."
Everybody from Fairhope sympathizes with me about the cold weather. But this kind of cold adds to the feeling of Christmas, with God throwing in a few snow flurries as if for punctuation. Hoboken is dressed for the holidays, and for once I'm glad Frank Sinatra made so many Christmas albums.
Next week I'll travel to upstate New York to visit the daughter and grandsons for the actual holiday. In the meantime, I've got more Christmas than I expected. And it's doing me good.