Christmas Day

Kage Baker always swore she was going to find a quiet corner on Christmas Day, and just sit and write. She never managed it. To be honest, she never even really tried.

This was partly because most of her life’s Christmases were spent at Momma’s house, where there was no such thing as a quiet anywhere. But it was mostly because, even after Momma was gone and we went to sisters’ houses, Kage just completely relaxed. She had a few drinks, she nibbled on holiday dainties, she admired all the kids’ presents (and played with a lot of them); and gradually just became a happy boneless person.

At some point in the festivities, she’d admit there was no use in even pretending,  put her notebook back in my purse (I always had a big purse) and go make herself some drink that looked like a winter sunset and had half a dozen maraschino cherries in it. And for the rest of the festal day she’d tell stories rather than write them. I remember lots and lots of Christmas evenings, sitting around the dining room table by candlelight and laughing. Just … laughing, all of us girls sitting there and giggling helplessly.

I am in complete agreement with this. I’ve sent off greetings to as many folks as I could easily remember, I’ve conferred on how long to cook the dinner prime rib, I’ve watched my family open their presents and register delight. Now it’s my turn to sit and play.

And I got toys for Christmas – a Bloomberg bag and a blue and silver fountain pen from Levenger’s (!!!) and three sizes of notebooks. I’m gonna go, if not actually write, then at least play with my writer toys and gloat. Something may come of it, story-wise, or I may just have a great time with crossword puzzles.

Or I may lovingly pack my new bag with all my daily necessities, in readiness for it’s being my new everything purse … it’s ever so chic and sleek, despite having useful pockets everywhere. Kimberly loaded it with useful things – paperclips, bulldog clips (all enamelled blue!) a hole punch, Post-it flags, bookmarks: I can now carry just about anything, read anything, edit anything, collate anything …

And along the way to playing, eating and drinking myself into a coma, I will bear loving thoughts toward all my friends – especially you, Dear Readers. Though I hope none of you check this out until tomorrow, because you should all be off eating, drinking and playing too. It’s a day for the softer duties, of love and laughter and celebration.

Wear a bow (my nephew Mike has one on each side of his new head-strap mounted light, with the aid of which he is assembling models while Skyrim loads) or stick ’em on your pets. Eat a lot of sugar. Drink cool and slightly dangerous things while you watch the Dr. Who lead-up to the new Christmas episode. Read Dickens or Pratchett or Dylan Thomas – they have the best Christmas stories.

Hug every one of your loved ones, while you can. Even if it’s only one day a year, it’s nothing to ever, ever, ever miss.

Merry Christmas!

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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4 Responses to Christmas Day

  1. I’ve really never had that kind of family or that kind of Christmas, It’s like something out of an old novel, or a movie– the Marches, maybe–so it sounds kind of unreal to me. But I’m glad it’s true, and I’m very glad it’s yours. Merry Christmas.


  2. Kate says:

    The Marches? Oh no, much crazier and less annoyingly wholesome! Though there is a sort of crowd hilarity that just spontaneously happens when there are an unbelievable lot of you. The guys stake out the space in front of the telly (usually with one token wife) and the girls take over the kitchen and dining room (teenagers of both genders tend to eavesdrop, too). And the main sound is of laughter and bloodthirsty screaming over games – football, video, dice, cards … one of our idiot brothers liked to give the little ones noisy toys: as Kage once said, “Hell is a Christmas Day with 5 pre-schoolers and 5 Whoopee Cushions.” But it was a good time anyway.

  3. Widdershins says:

    Merry Christmas, Kate.

  4. Kate says:

    And to you, Widdershins – a blessed Yule to you.

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