Christmas

Allegra’s World: Allegra’s First Christmas

There’s been so much cool stuff happening around here, I don’t even know where to start!  For the past week, Mom has been bringing out lots of fun toys:  big rolls of paper, crinkly tissue paper, and, best of all, bows and ribbons!  I actually don’t think she brought them out for me, because she put them on the dining room table, and I don’t usually play up there.  And Mom doesn’t usually play unless it’s with me, but she started playing with those toys, so I, being the good kitten daughter that I am, had to go help her.  Mom said what she was doing is called wrapping gifts.  Whatever – it was great fun!  I grabbed some of the bows and took off with them, making Mom chase after me.   Things got even more interesting when Mom got ready to put some ribbon on one of the gifts she was wrapping.  I tried to help by batting at the ribbon and chewing on the ends, and I couldn’t understand why she kept telling me no (I also don’t think she was all that serious about the “no,” because she kept laughing).   I think eventually  Mom decided that her presents wouldn’t have any ribbons on them.   She said it’s called “the path of least resistence.”  I think those are just big words for spoiling my fun.

But the best thing happened this past weekend.  All of a sudden, there were all these packages under our Christmas tree.  Where did they come from?  Mom said Santa brought them.  I don’t know who this Santa is, but Mom explained that he brings presents to good little kittens, and that on Christmas, we’d be opening the packages together.  Wee!!!  That sounded like fun.  I like this Santa!  I helped Mom open the first package.   It was for me!  It was a really fun toy that looked like a giant piece of cheese.  I love cheese!  And there were little things inside the big cheese, so I had to immediately try to get them out.  I still haven’t quite figured out how yet, but I’ll  keep working at it.

But that wasn’t all.  There were so many other packages!  Since I was happily playing with my big cheese, Mom opened some of her packages without my help.  The stuff in them wasn’t very interesting, but the growing pile of wrapping paper was, so I stopped playing with my big cheese and went to check it out.  I crawled under the paper, rustled around in it, and pounced on it.  Way cool!  After letting me have some fun with the pile, Mom said there were more packages for me, so I helped her open them.  So many fun toys!  I didn’t even know what to play with first.  In fact, to be totally honest, I got a little overwhelmed with everything.  I didn’t know it was possible for a kitten to be so loved and to get so many gifts.  How lucky am I!

After we had opened all the packages, Mom started gathering the pile of paper and the bows and ribbons.  I asked her whether we could just keep them out since they were so much fun to play in, but she nixed that idea.  Humans – they can be such spoil sports.  But I didn’t mind too much since I have all these fun new toys to play with.

After all this excitement, I needed a long nap – and I took it in Mom’s lap, while she was sitting by the Christmas tree.  Mom listened to some music, and I slept.

I love Christmas!

Buckley’s First Christmas

Christmas card large

In memory of Buckley’s first Christmas with Amber and me:
An excerpt from Buckley’s Story – Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher

Soon, it was time to get ready for Buckley’s first holiday season with Amber and me. I traditionally put up my Christmas tree during Thanksgiving weekend. It is a small, four-foot high artificial tree that I have had for close to twenty years. While I like the idea and especially the wonderful pine scent of a real tree, I also find it too much of a hassle to deal with having someone bring the tree into the house for me and then to remove it again at the end of the season, so I have been quite content with my artificial tree over the years. And since having a fake tree has even become the environmentally conscious thing to do in recent years, rather than feeling like I should be making apologies for it, I am now politically correct. The tree sits on a small table next to the dining room cabinet. The table is draped with a red tablecloth that reaches all the way to the floor, creating a perfect little cat tent underneath. Amber always enjoyed hiding underneath the tree during Christmases past, and now Buckley got to share in the fun. It provided endless entertainment for both cats, and it was a new experience for Amber to be stalked by Buckley from underneath the tree.

In addition to playtime, the tree also provided lovely moments of quiet contemplation for all three of us. Most evenings before going to bed, I turned off all the lights in the living room except for those on the tree and put on some soft Christmas music. With both cats curled up on my lap, we simply sat by the tree and enjoyed the lights, ornaments, and the profound sense of peace these moments brought. This experience has always had a meditative quality for me that was greatly enhanced by the shared energy of the two cats.

Amber had never been all that interested in the ornaments on the tree. I decorate the tree with ornaments I have collected over the years, many of them cat-themed, which should come as no surprise. Some of the ornaments have great sentimental value, such as the silver bell that I brought home after cleaning out my father’s condominium after he passed away. As far back as I can remember, that silver bell was on the Christmas trees of my childhood. Other ornaments were gifts from friends or items I had picked up while traveling. I always hung the breakable ornaments on the side of the tree furthest from the dining room table. In the past, Amber had occasionally jumped up on the table and batted at the ornaments she could reach from there. Thankfully, she had never tried to jump up on the table the tree was sitting on. I was not sure what to expect from Buckley, but she turned out to be far more interested in the tent underneath the tree than the actual tree or ornaments. I never once even saw her on the dining room table trying to bat at ornaments she could have reached from there.

Buckley’s first Christmas was a special time for all of us. This little cat had never gotten presents before in her life. Needless to say, I completely overdid it that year, and I was not the only one. Many of my friends also showered Buckley, as well as Amber, with toys and treats that Christmas. Buckley had a difficult time deciding what was more fun—the actual toys and treats or helping me tear them out of their colorful wrappings and ribbons.  She had a wonderful time that first Christmas, playing with abandon and giving herself up to total joy.