I had no idea an elephant and a Christmas tree could peacefully coexist in my living room, but they can.
Between last night and this morning, Santa sent his largest, cutest group of elves in pairs and groups here to make sure the surviving Reilly family has Christmas no matter what decisions I make. I was told that, many times over. There will be no more pressure in either direction from any of the guys.
A tree arrived. It was lit and then decorated, mostly by Ruth and Henry, who were handed various ornaments and the other more touching ornaments were quietly re-wrapped and put away again. There's a wreath on the front door and one on the back gate. The lights are on outside. There's a small mountain of presents under the tree and stockings are hung on the banisters because if we put them on the woodstove we'll burn the house down.
Someone put reindeer antlers on the dog. The cat did not go for hers at all. I laughed until I cried and then I did both at once.
There are brownies defrosting and a turkey freezing. There are invitations that I can accept or not, depending on what I decide about going away for Christmas. There was PJ, Joel, Christian, Mark, Rob, Sam & Lisabeth, Andrew, John, Jason and his wife Julie, August and even a phone call from a busy, sleepless Lochlan letting me now that life is going to go on and they'll make sure I am not left behind. I could hear Hope crying in the background and I was so warm.
There was only one absent elf, for he owns the elephant that is crowding me out of my own head.