My family loves Christmas. Over the years, our traditions have become like a finely oiled machine. Driving around looking at Christmas lights (especially as soon as the person coming home for Christmas has just arrived from a long journey), perogies (the recipe that my mother created and cannot be duplicated), my sister's Christmas cake (that she has perfected), and like many others - the feast, the tree and beautifully wrapped presents.
The family is scattered now so Christmas has become the tradition of following the one who works in retail. Aimee has to work both Christmas Eve and Boxing Day so her mobility is restricted. Three months ago she moved to Victoria so this is where I have come to spend Christmas. The complication is the other child who is spending Christmas with his "in-laws" and will join us on Boxing Day.
We have decided to have Christmas on the 27th.
Which means that Aimee and I are hanging out in Victoria on Christmas Day - not doing Christmas things.
Except we aren't doing them alone. In Starbucks, Aimee lined up for the coffees while I secured a seat. There was a lineup for the hour we were there.
We had decided to go out for Chinese food for our Christmas dinner. After 15 phone calls with the only one restaurant with the worst reviews open, we decided to go out and see what was happening. We did find a Burger King which was pretty busy; Aimee said if we went there, we would have been the only ones employed. But really our palates were set on Chinese food.
We went into China Town; there were a few restaurants open but not as many as I had imagined. One that told us there was no room. Reservations only is what the sign said on the door. I went inside. Do you have a reservation? they asked. No. Sorry, she said. Can I make one? She looked at me. 8 o'clock. Yes, I said.
It is time. Ready for Christmas dinner....