Sunday, December 17, 2017

Hope is Hard To Resist

For the last few years, one of our holiday traditions, sending out cards, has become more of a Thanksgiving one than a Christmas one. This is mostly due to that I've helped organize a race that is shortly after Thanksgiving so it takes up too much of early December. It's become problematic to pick out the pictures that highlight the best times of the year because every year keeps having so many. As problems go, keep signing me up for that one. (By the way if somehow you didn't get one and should have email me your address because while I think I remembered everyone they say I may have a damaged brain that causes memory issues).

The pictures that were chosen this year for it were from our trip to China standing on that Great Wall, Kiana being Alice in her summer acting camp at Alice in Wonderland, a shot from our trip to Alaska in which we trekked through some mud during low tide on the beach, Kiana nearing the finish line on her first triathlon and me dropping down on one knee and asking Elaine for the chance to spend the rest of our lives, with a ring that had hope on it. Our card has a caption that like every Christmas card for the last several years has been a quote from Doctor Who: That's the trouble with hope, it's hard to resist. (Speaking of that ring of hope, it got a little more solid a few days ago).

Still, an even harder tradition came up recently.
Every year we hang up an ornament representing the best part of life. Some of those have been easy like Kiana's birth. Some of those have been cheating like one year where I traveled so much and couldn't pick one I put up a plane ornament. This year as we were discussing between the three of us what to put up a few things came up. All of the things came up that were on this year's holiday card. The remodeling elements of the house came up too since it feels so new with some paint and well some major touch ups besides that. Oddly enough I imagine that  the paint we will enjoy the most is the chalkboard wall one that is in the garage. All 3 of us already took a shot at it last night before the ornament. With Kiana painting a cool owl, Elaine painting a lion and me doing a Chinese symbol that will go on the wedding invites. The remodeling was interesting because every room in the house got repainted and a lot of work got done in other places so it feels like a new home but that one didn't fly. Even Elaine moving in was thought of as she became an official part of the household. The races were considered but medals have been on there before and it seems like a continuum. In simply honesty, the engagement wasn't really even considered. It's not that our engagement isn't important to all of us. Heck we've already done enough fun wedding preparation that I wish it was tomorrow for many reasons. But an engagement is a promise to get married and well making a promise is never the more important part, keeping it is. That promise gets fulfilled at the wedding. Still, I think marriage itself is a promise and that gets fulfilled with I hope a long fulfilling happy path but a heartbreaking ending when somebody passes away. With all that said, I imagine what next year's ornament is representing has already been decided.

Ultimately, the decision was a little thing we picked up in China when we were checking out where they made jade. It wasn't simply representing the Great Wall but the entirety of the trip. That wonder is important as it got me around to the last World Wonder while Kiana got to her first one and crossed the ocean blue for the first time. We all ran and cycled together in China. This was just a couple of week before Elaine moved in but I think it represented that merging of things. In fact when I was considering it, I ran with my friend Sean and he essentially said that her moving in was me marrying her with the way I approach life. The truth is that I'd been thinking about it then too so maybe so. It represented going into the country where her parents are immigrants of and the first time we'd taken a big trip to somewhere Elaine had been to before that I hadn't. It was a simple jade ornament over a grand event. It hangs between a brighter Santa one and gigantic one from Costco where its amazing origins and story would be invisible to anyone who doesn't know and that's quite okay.  It is, I hope, the only way any of the 3 of us will ever be 'jaded' about Christmas.

It was a simple ceremony, a simple ornament which we finished the evening with listening to some music from Pentatonix, hot chocolate and the fire place lit up on a cold rainy December night. The first song we listened to the carol of the bells and I think that at least for one evening celebrating many good things represented in one ornament we listened to those sweet silver bells and all they had to say and we threw our cares away.

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