Our Newfs love Christmas.  Well, if you were here on Christmas morning, you might understand why.  They open their presents with the most genuine form of delight, enjoying the treats first, then the packaging, then the toys.  It transforms that day like a trip to Disneyland used to for a kid.  So, it follows that they count the days until Christmas like any other kid.  Actually, I think they “just know” without counting.  They can read when it is getting close.  Parker is wearing his warm smile this morning that signals his level of comfort and joy.

Both Newfs are napping now, snoring lightly with a peaceful rythm, dreaming of the Newfoundland equivalent of sugar plums and exciting things to come.  Music is flowing in the background, with Bing the Newf crooning about a White Christmas, and trees decorated with Milkbones, and pulling kids around in the snow on sleds.

“B” names are very important to the local Newf community.  There is Boa, the lovely girl with the elegant coat, a socialite like other members of her family, and Boy Wonder, her younger brother.  They live with their mother, Bea, in a big, beautiful home, with plenty of air conditioning for the days when the outside weather is above 40.  Bea’s cousin, Belinda, is coming over on Christmas Eve with her son and daughter, Briar (pronounced Bree-air) and Butch.  These two are known for getting into the punch bowl with all four feet.

This year, they have all been practicing their Christmas hymns, so they can go caroling together.  When Belinda and her family arrive with their dad Beau, the families exchange greetings in the parlor, then gather ‘round the large heirloom silver bowl to share a bottle of Dom Pérignon.  Boa comes from the kitchen carrying appetizers from the Three Dog Bakery for all.  After listening to Uncle Bacchus entertain the group with some wild party stories, they gather their scarves and hats and proceed toward the town square, caroling as they go:  Twelve Days of Christmas, Winter Wonderland, O Little Town of Bethlehem, It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.  As they passed through the streets lined with luminarias, they gathered with other members of the Newf community for O Holy Night, with Butch and Briar stirring up some frolic among the younger Newfs.  On the way home, they sang several repetitions of “Let It Snow!” with great joy and camaraderie.

With all of the exercise and good food, you would think that a good Newf would be able to go to sleep easily that night, but with the enthusiasm for the celebrations, it took a lot of stuffed toys and belly rubs to get the young ones to sleep.  Belinda read the full version of the Night Before Christmas as they drifted off, wondering why the Newfs pulling Santa’s sleigh didn’t have B names.  Meanwhile, Bea was wondering whether she would be able to stay awake to help Santa fill stockings and set out Christmas presents.  All preparation was completed, though, and the adults went to sleep as well, only to be awakened a few hours later by nose-bumps.  “Mom!”  “Wake up!”  “Did you know it’s Christmas!?”  “Come see what Santa brought!”  Being very good and polite Newfoundlands, they didn’t want to indulge before everyone was awake to share the joy.

With everyone awake in a short time, the young ones raced into the family room and gathered around the tree looking for their presents.  Heads disappeared into gift bags, bits of boxes were torn off until toys inside were found, cookie crumbs and empty treat packages lined the floor.  Then began the Toy Parade, beautiful soft stuffies, dangly toys, noise-makers, tug-of-war toys, Kongs and, did I mention Noise-Makers?  The fun went on for hours.  When it was time for Christmas dinner, all Newfs were worn out, the adults who cleaned the house and prepared the meal and the young ones who played with the toys.  They all said thanks and wished blessings for all of God’s creatures, then curled up for an after-dinner nap before the long trip home.

May Christmas Bring You Happiness

Watching for Santa?

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