Christmas dawn was beautiful, but fleeting. The ephemeral glow rising behind the black lace of bare trees was a delicate greeting out the east window. Once again, I was thankful for my humble home here beside Spirit Creek.
Christmas has lost almost all of its magic for me. My children are grown and the one beautiful granddaughter - Miss Thing, as I affectionately think of her - is tearing around in a black Mustang. Not much an old hippie grandmother can offer by way of Christmas magic to her these days!
Every year I recall my childhood excitement over the magic of Santa Claus. I gave serious consideration to the magical aspects of Santa Claus when I was a child. As a three year old, I accepted the magic, but by the age of six I was seriously doubting some of that story. It just did not add up. By age eight, I knew better than to believe in Santa Claus. Christmas has held a shade of disappointment and depression for me ever since I concluded Santa was a fairy tale.
To shake off the nostalgia of Christmas Past this morning, I planned special treats for the animals of Spirit Creek Farm. Ms Ginger and Ms Annie, the resident Horse persons, received a red apple and a green apple diced up in their feed this morning. Ginger expressed her appreciation for a Christmas treat with her usual regal disregard. I was summarily dismissed from the royal feed tub once breakfast was served. Annie has not yet learned what treats are. Tart Granny Smith apple bites are a surprise rather than a treat. There was much head tossing as she tasted the tartness and mouthed the unexpected textures of the apples in the feed. She makes me laugh. There is a sweetness about her that is so endearing.
The ol' Dukester, that good old dog, was in his usual high dog spirits. For one thing, it is really, really cold. He chases around like a pup, and flops over on his back in the snow, growling his delight at the weather and the fact that I am home in the middle of the week. He was jealous of the horses' treats and I had to admonish him to get out of both feed tubs. I do not understand why, but Duke thinks he has to eat horse feed. He thinks he has to eat chicken feed and cat food, too. But, if I leave him a little bowl of horse feed or chicken feed, it is left untouched. It is not a serious character flaw for a good dog like Ol' Duke, but I think dogs have been our companions for such a long evolutionary time that they are acquiring our worst traits, like jealousy! Santa Claus did not forget the ol' Dukemeister, jealousy aside. He got a warm, steaming soup bone served up in his dish this morning. He stared at it so I had to encourage him toward his bowl. (Maybe he was thinking: There IS a Santa Claus after all!) Merry Christmas, Duke, you good old dog!
Big Man and his merry band of trickster chickens were not forgotten on Christmas morn. I scrambled a half dozen eggs, shells and all, and threw it in with their scratch this morning. The roosters have a little ceremony they do whenever they find new food. They test it to make sure it is edible, then they call the others with a low rolling cluck, as they peck the food and drop it repeatedly. The rest of the flock know to come investigate. Of course, the hens have already recognized it as food and have been gobbling up as much as they can, but I am sure they appreciate the roosterly good manners. I only felt a twinge of guilt feeding eggs to my chickens but the eggs were not relatives, you know.
Mrs. Kitty received warm milk poured over her kibbles this morning, and I know she thoroughly enjoyed that treat. But she does not give a rat's behind that it is Christmas, either.
As for me, I am going to take my little bag of cheap Christmas presents over to my daughter's new home, only five miles from my front door, as soon as I finish this post. No more traveling 1,500 miles, or 3,000 miles, or more to see my daughter at Christmas. Now she is home right here in the Flint Hills. We will be painting and scraping old wallpaper today - not the usual Christmas. My handsome son will be there too. It will be the best Christmas.
Merry Christmas from Spirit Creek Farm.
Peace on earth, good will toward (some) men and all animals.