It’s December 28th. Really? How did that happen?
At the beginning of December we began counting down the days until the “Big” day. Each of the 24 days before the 25th we opened a door in our Advent calender. Each day we took care to mark one more day passed and one day closer to the special day. . . Christmas Day. The kids asked daily what day is today? The anticipation built and the excitement grew. Days felt like weeks and hours seemed like days until finally there was just one day to go.
Ahhh, Christmas. I can still feel the way I felt when I was little. I remember so clearly what it felt to anticipate, dream, and experience the excitement of this season. The season that carries with it a feeling all it’s own. A feeling of warmth, of joy, of peace.
One of the coolest things about having kids? Reliving it all.
This year was the first year that Charlie and Chanelle really seemed to get into it. Talk of Santa’s visit was prominent and they wanted to make sure everything was perfect. I built the day up in my mind. I have no doubt that my own anticipation and excitement matched that of my 6 and 4 year old.
Our Christmas begins Christmas Eve-eve. Since we are with our families on Christams Eve, Christmas Day, and the day following Christmas I longed to make the evening special. Oh, how I would love to tell you that we sat around the Christmas tree, watched Christmas movies, listened to Christmas music, and completely basked in the glow of lights and tinsel. . . I would love to tell you that, but I’d be lying.
Instead, I frantically destroyed the kitchen while preparing food, cleaned said kitchen, moved laundry from the washer to the dryer, finished wrapping presents, packed bags for travel over the next few days and got lost in the chaos, rather than the beauty of the season.
There I said it. . . the evening was, umm, not what I’d hoped for. Not to mention the barking cough that roared from Charlie’s chest, his dark hollow eyes, and the nose that ran like a raging river. Instead of music and laughter pouring out of our house, medicine was poured down my little guys throat.
Yep, not what I had envisioned. Until, that is, right before we put them to bed.
Somehow, the innocence of these final moments went far to restore my soul and build the anticipation of the days to come. We had prepared Santa’s (requested) peanut butter cookies and Charlie and Chanelle put them out right before bed.
This was the moment when my spirits began to lift. When I started to feel the magic of the season. When I was brought back to reality. This was all it took. . . their joy, their anticipation, their innocence jerked me back and put a smile on my face. . .
Charlie, unprompted, wrote a note to Santa. . .
|Yep, that’s our family. . . with santa hats|
They were sure he would know if they’ve been bad or good. . .
I assured them they had been good.
For the first time this year we decided to feed the reindeer. Thankfully, Chanelle had provided the food. If my spirits began to lift with the cookies. . . they were soaring at the Reindeer food.
Of course, seeing Chanelle scatter the food on the front walk didn’t hurt. She took such care to make sure that they would see it and that there would be enough for all of them. . . even Rudolph, right Mommy?
As I watched these tiny little moments before bed I forgot about the busy few days that would follow. I forgot about the things that needed done. I forgot about the stress I had been feeling just moments before. It was these simple moments that drew me back in to the role that has given me an abundance of joy. . . the simple joy of being their Mom. Of observing them engage life. There is nothing better. Nope, nothing better.
Charlie and Chanelle laid down to bed with hearts full of anticipation as the the real story of Christmas was read to them.
Before we said our final good nights Charlie insisted that he would not sleep. I want to say hi to Santa, he told us. I have no doubt, however, that his droopy eyes shut for the night, as soon as his door was closed. From that point on it was true. . . not a creature was stirring. . . until the next morning when we awoke to find that Santa had come. . .
And the look of wonder and excitement in their eyes was better than any gift that could have been tied with ribbons and bows.
The next few days were a whirlwind. Time with loved ones was in abundance. . .
. . . but sickness prevailed. We cut our travels short as Charlie’s cough and runny nose spread through our family. Like many, the days were full and busy. Looking back at these photos reminds me of how blessed I am to have so many to love and so many who love us.
I have nothing to complain about. Our Christmas was good. Charlie and Chanelle smiled, and laughed, and we began traditions of our own. Next year, however, I am determined to slow
(Someone remind me of that, okay?)
During these final days of 2011 I am vowing not to move too fast. To make time for reflection. To not rush through the 31st like I felt I rushed through the 25th. It is possible, right?