"We had all that fun in the kitchen, and then, as we enjoyed the stockings, you almost shot your eye out.* Could there be a more perfect Christmas?" said our sis with twinkling eye as we reminisced this morning over the perfect joy of our Christmas gathering of the clan down Goomp's yesterday and today. In the Finnish tradition of our beloved mother, we celebrated the festive meal and presents yesterday on Christmas Eve. Then today, on Christmas morning, there were stockings for the boys -- Tuck and Chris -- followed by a brilliant Coquilles Saint Jacques brunch (above and below).
The juxtaposition of disparate objects -- one definition of Surrealism -- rocks our boat. Above, Coquilles St. Jacques on giant scallop shells with French bread on the side loom large as our own knee-high-clad feet on the floor below recede into insignificance. We had lifted our camera high above our head to try to get a Martha-Stewartoid shot of the plate and stumbled upon transcendence when our tootsies happened to fall within the camera's eye. It calls to mind heirarchic painting traditions where the size of a figure reflects the relative importance of that person in the socio-political world of the day. In this case, Coquilles rule.
Purrky, Sarah and Ellen occupy the couch so many of our family members have sat upon through untold Christmases past. Once we were the youngsters and then the sexy young gals who looked upon those occupants with sometimes haughty, condescending eyes. Now we are enchanted with the younger generation who give us hope and joy with their passion and commitment to their various admirable pursuits to make this a better world. Hey, Goomp and Mummy. You must have done something right, big time. We couldn't be prouder of these magnificent descendents of Priscilla Mullins.
Goomp's black beauty, Lucie -- normally a recluse -- came forth for the presents last night and this morning. She's normally wicked shy and stays away from crowds but was irresistibly drawn to the festive Christmas room, never straying far from her adoring human companion. Could it be that she knows all about the Mark of Mary and the story of the purring kitty in the manger retold by Laura Lee?
One of the coup gifts of last night was Goomp's Kodak Easy Share camera-cum-printer, and herewith, above, the first photo therefrom. Tuck read the manual and figured out how it all worked. Then he took the classic shot above, and we are convinced he has a gift as a portrait photographer. John Singleton Copley's oil portrait of Henry Pelham, the Boy with a Squirrel came to mind, in the sense of capturing the spirit of the subject and accenting it with a telling attribute, in the case of Henry Pelham, the pet squirrel, and in the case of Goomp, the glass of The Glenlivet Nadurra.
*The coup gift of the stocking hour was Tuck's "Pig Catapult" (above). According to the literature, it "launches pigs up to 15 feet!" And it does -- it comes with a styful of perhaps two dozen oinkers. When we ourselves tried it out, we thrilled the Christmas-morning crowd by launching a faux pig -- a crumpled bit of wrappping paper rather than one of the plastic pink porkers that came with the set -- TOWARDS rather than away from ourselves, "You'll shoot your eye out" writ large.
"He made himself small for us so that we could understand him, love him, welcome him," Papa Ratzi is saying in his Christmas homily. Thank God for EWTN:
He wants nothing other from us than our love. In this way, he teaches us to love the weak . . . He has become a child for us, and in so doing he has dispelled all ambiguity, all doubt . . . Let us remember the true gift, to give each other something of our selves, to give each other something of our time. When you give a dinner or a banquet, don't invite those who will give you a dinner in return, but invite those who will never invite you and never give you a dinner in return . . . Give to those who cannot give you anything back. This is what God has done.
How morally clarifying. The exact opposite of Osama's strong horse metaphor. And with his stripes we are healed?