Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry, Merry

Fifteen minutes after we took this picture, the Grand Canyon disappeared 
behind a curtain of white

     Last year, for the first time, we took a Christmas vacation.  Well, technically, it was a pre-Christmas trip because we returned by dinner on Christmas Eve.  Our plans were to hike around Sedona, take a van tour all the way up to the Grand Canyon for a day, and perhaps to do some desert stargazing during our quick four days.  We’d relax instead of joining that mad December shopping marathon.
    Within two hours of arriving, though, we were at the Sedona urgent care center because my son had gotten a little too enthusiastic on the hotel treadmill.  Diagnosis for Nicholas?  No hiking on this trip.  But no problem.  We still had the daylong tour to the Grand Canyon with very little walking required.
     Once we passed Flagstaff, however, the snow started and followed us north.  At our first stop in the national park, the guide pointed out Phantom Ranch at the bottom of that giant hole in the ground.  Amazing.  We saw the river.  The trees were green.  There was grass.  And we were up above them freezing our tails off as the snow swirled faster and faster around us.  Soon it created a curtain of white so thick we no longer could even see the giant hole in the ground.  So we continued on our tour and at all the stops our guide described for us everything we could have seen if we hadn’t been driving in a blizzard.  But lunch and the snowball fights were good.  So no problem if we’ve traveled halfway across the country not to see the grandness of the Grand Canyon.


     We made it back to Sedona where the hotel clerk told me they never have this much snow this early in the winter.  No hiking.  No Grand Canyon.  And no desert stargazing.  It was just too dang cold.  And it would require too much walking for Nicholas.  The closest we got to studying the night sky was eating at Red Planet Diner – UFO central.  At least the chocolate milkshakes were out of this world.  And there was a Star Wars movie marathon on TV that night.

      Maybe this is the way all Christmas’ should be.  Lots of expectations for something new and awe-inspiring, but satisfaction with the ordinary.  The first Christmas wasn’t just angels filling the sky, heralding a king.  It was a stable, and cattle as witnesses, and uncertainty.  So my wish for you is that your Christmas is filled with the beauty of the everyday and the memorable peace of the uneventful.

If you want to share any of your Christmas memories, exciting or mundane, comment here.

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