(Like many little girls, this is how I always began my daily entry in the little pink book with the flap that locked it closed, marked “Diary” in gold letters.)
It is 7:30 p.m., and Daniel and I are at home. We are sitting on our couch, I finishing a slice of pizza that is my dinner and reading a Grace Livingston Hill novel collection, and Daniel typing away on his laptop, working on a paper for school. A little while ago, Daniel and I baked the frozen thin crust pizza that we had picked up from the grocery store on our way home from my doctor appointment, then sang “O come, o come Emmanuel” while lighting the three Advent candles that show how near we are coming to Christmas. We quickly blew them out again since one is getting dangerously short, and carried our dinner to the coffee table to sit at the couch because our kitchen table is covered in the assortment of baking ingredients I have already assembled in preparation for making Christmas cookies this weekend.
The fir tree we spent quite some time in the freezing cold searching for before we (and by “we” I mean Daniel) sawed it down is sitting in its stand, still without a tree skirt and with boxes of ornaments sitting beneath the branches in the place of the gifts that will be there next week. The tree itself is quite perfect, other than the fact that it looks slightly crooked because of the odd angle of the trunk at the base. Once we find something to use as a skirt and fill the branches with decorations, it will hardly be noticeable. As of now, we have only a strand of 200 white lights woven through the green, twinkling cheerily.
Every so often, Daniel or I will say “I love you” or make a random funny face just until the other looks up and smiles. People might laugh or roll their eyes and say “newlyweds,” but I don’t care. This is just what we do to remember that even though we’re each doing our own thing, we’re still together. And being together is still a good thing.
It is very quiet otherwise. Daniel occasionally sighs or breathes in sharply in thought. His strikes of the keys as he types are rhythmic and soothing, at least to me. Of course, I’m not the one with a deadline tomorrow. I can hear the mantle clock ticking and the refrigerator humming. In another minute or so, all of these quiet sounds will be muffled by the furnace kicking on. It’s only 25 degrees outside tonight.
At this time next year, it certainly won’t be so quiet! Our baby will be six months old then. Of course, after bedtime it will hopefully be quiet like this. Hopefully.
In an hour or so, Daniel and I will have eggnog, the delightful beverage that helps in a very big way to make this my favorite time of the year. If Daniel is finished his paper by then, I might snuggle up next to him while we enjoy it together. Otherwise I will sip it while I read—not a bad second choice. He is so close now to being finished his school work for the semester, and then there is only one left until he has his masters’ degree! I can’t wait. Obviously, neither can Daniel.
When we finish our eggnog, provided Daniel has in fact finished his work, we will check to make sure that the tree has enough water, turn off the lights, and go to our room. We might fold some laundry… or we might not. We will get ready for bed and I will shiver while I change into pajamas and thicker socks (my feet are always freezing at night, especially in the winter), despite the fact that the space heater in our room has been turned on for an hour. But then I will climb into our warm bed and Daniel’s warm arms. And I will be content (that is, as long as I don’t think about waking up to the cold again at six tomorrow morning, or when we are going to finish the last of our Christmas shopping before next Friday, or the dinner dishes sitting unwashed in the kitchen sink). It has been a perfect December evening.