The Holiday Hangover is not about the wine. An overabundance of joy.

The glow of holiday bliss starts to fade the day after Boxing Day, when the tree tinsel droops and the pine needles sprinkle down. Perhaps, though, it is the happiest time of the year.

Christmas advent is less than peaceful, what with the shopping and parties and preparation. Christmas eve– for many families, like mine for example– is the start of the celebration. And in my family, that celebration lasts for three days. It’s the day after Boxing Day when things begin to settle: the wrapping paper is picked up and the visiting subsides. It’s a couch and TV or book kind of day, with a nap or two in between.

Last night was spent just sitting on the couch. We (my son and his girlfriend and I) filled the entire evening with just three things: Jet’s hockey, Food Channel marathon and tea. After feasting, entertaining and visiting for three days, it was a delight to tuck into sweats and a blanket and settle in for a night of no obligation and no expectations. Just the warmth of people who are dear and who understand that you– as required only, of course–talk back to the television set while reading a book.

“Ma, you are not allowed to comment if you’re not paying attention,” my son might say.

Oh, please. Of course I am.

I was shuffling around in my beautiful new slippers this morning when my son climbed down the stairs from the guest room.

“Pancakes! But Ma, I have to go to work in ten minutes.”

“That’s cutting it a little fine. Poor planning are your part,” I replied.

Pancakes were easily wrapped up to go. Fruit salad fits into a mason jar nicely and just before he walked out the door, I tucked Japanese oranges into the son’s parka pocket.

“Have a good day.” I said as he bent down for a kiss.

Then I watched him walk across the front yard, his track shoes sinking into the snow.

“Why aren’t you wearing your boots?” I called, noticing them sitting in the hallway.

“These are fine.”

“And where are your gloves?”

The son turned just briefly and responded the way children have responded to this perennial mother’s question with the response of children since the creation of the civilized world.

“They’re in my pocket.”

I paddled back into the kitchen and poured a cuppa tea. Then I settled on the sofa to to savour the warmth of being truly loved and my abundance.

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