My perfect day always happens on the same day every year. Well, technically, it isn’t the same exact DAY, but it is a recurring holiday.
MTM and I celebrate Christmas every year in Montreal, as in freezing-cold, it-always-snows, thousands-of-layers-inducing, can’t-understand-what-they’re-saying Canada. We book the same room at Hotel Gault in the Old City, and we spend as many days as we can afford in a winter wonderland. Last year, that meant just three, and we really couldn’t afford those, but we did it anyway. I don’t think I can contemplate starting a new year without chilling my brain above our northern border. We’re going on our eighth Christmas there, and it always goes the same way.
MTM wakes up at his usual time (6am) and I sleep as long as I want (usually 10am.) We order room service, which they deliver on a rolling drop leaf table with starched linens and an exquisite presentation of our oatmeal. I drag myself out of bed and eat, and then we send the cart back into the hallway and crawl back under the fluffy down covers. Usually, we watch a movie. This has ranged from “The Shining” to “The Lion in Winter” to “Open Water.” You know, very cheery stuff.
Then, we put on Radio Classique Montreal, and we listen to whatever version of Handel‘s Messiah they’re broadcasting that year. My favorite one of all time (and worthy of a download on any music device) is the Grammy-winning version by the Dunedin Consort, though we’ve heard a different one each year. Once they’ve played the last “amen,” the Queen comes on for her annual Christmas address, which usually sends me into a deep nap.
When I awake, I take a long bath in the soaking tub with a fizzy bath bomb from Lush and a book, and then we watch another movie, usually something more uplifting, like “Ben Hur,” “Roman Holiday,” or “Lost in Translation.” MTM catches up on all the crossword puzzles he hasn’t had time to complete, and I read some more.
We decide what to order for dinner, which is delivered in short order on another freshly-pressed linen covered drop leaf table. We play more Radio Classique Montreal while we eat and afterwards, when we normally play Yahtzee or Gin Rummy. We call our parents, and we do other things that I won’t share.
Christmas is my one perfect day of the year. Oh, I am blessed with other days that are memorable, remarkable and singular, but this is the one day where we cocoon, not leaving the room all day long, watching the snow fall and doing as little as possible save being together. It is uniquely unmarred. If I receive no other gifts all year long – for anything – it is the one present I don’t think I could do without.
So, that’s my perfect day, at least as much of it as I’m going to share. What is your perfect day? Or, what would it be if you scheduled the time to do it?