Before we had kids, the Captain and I established a holiday tradition of our own. Like many Canadians, we started ordering Chinese takeout on Christmas Eve. We loved this tradition, and once the kids came along, it made a very hectic night just that little bit less stressful, because I didn't have to have a meal on the table on top of stuffing stockings and frantically wrapping gifts. Unfortunately, the last time we observed this tradition was 3 weeks after Rosemary's Baby was born, on Christmas Eve 2005.
By the following Christmas, we'd moved to the place we live now. It didn't take long for us to realize that the convenience we'd always taken for granted of ordering a pizza or running out for fast food was no longer at our disposal. The nearest Chinese restaurant was now a 30-minute drive down the highway if driving conditions were good. On a snowy Christmas Eve, it might be an hour each way. Our Christmas Eve tradition was dead.
We halfheartedly attempted a tourtiere tradition for a couple of years, but it just wasn't the same. No one was quite as excited about eating pie (though it was still delicious), and anyone who knows my patience for rolling out piecrust can see that there was absolutely no way this was going to fly on the busiest night of the year. Last year, I dejectedly heated us all up a plate of leftovers from the fridge. Halle-freakin'-lujah.
Today I picked up my local weekly newspaper. When I opened it up, I nearly dropped it again. For there, on page 3, was a full-page story about a new couple in town, originally from Hong Kong, but long established here in Canada, who had bought up one of the many abandoned commercial properties in our tiny town, and were establishing a business. And I know I don't need to tell you the nature of that business. They're opening a CHINESE RESTAURANT right on the main strip! Opening day will be in early December! Our Christmas Eve dinner is back on!
Rosemary's Baby was caught somewhere between amusement and confusion when I started jumping up and down in my kitchen and screaming. My mother called after I'd posted on Facebook that I'd just heard amazing news, thinking the Captain was miraculously coming home for the holidays, or perhaps that I'd won the lottery. When I told her my actual thrilling news, she sounded puzzled at my excitement. To be honest, I was even a little thrown off at how my pulse raced when I read the news, and how close I was to crying real tears of joy over the prospect of a plate of chop suey and fried rice.
But I am someone who feels that things are not random, and that there are powers at work in our universe that transcend our little lives. I believe in looking for a higher reason for ordinary things. And now, after a year filled with tribulation, this one Christmas where the Captain won't be with me, that tradition we established all those years ago--before kids and pets and mortgage payments--has been handed back to me. I can't help but think that all those prayers and thoughts and all that positive energy that was sent in my direction was received in the form of this small sign. So I thank you all for this gift. I feel now that my Christmas will be merry after all.
And if it isn't, at least there'll be egg rolls.