Christmas came in loaded for bear and left quietly out the back door this morning. And I wasn’t sad to see it go. Never am. Pitched the tree out the door and spent the next half hour sucking up needles with a snarky grin on my face. The boys sat at the table assembling their various Lego sets, only taking breaks to run outside and squeeze off a coupla shots with their Red Ryder BB guns at the tin cans set up in the back yard, while Lucy enjoyed an unsupervised 20 minutes at the art table with her new washable markers and a bowl of fishie crackers and Tess dressed and undressed Kit enough to convince me that she isn’t too young for an American Girl doll after all.
Christmas began and ended with Jesus, as it always does. As it should. We staged the birth of Christ on the rug in the family room, each person controlling one of the characters in the story and Dan, in a nod to current technology, using the flashlight app on his phone to mimic the star. I was Mary and Joseph, mainly because I can’t trust anyone else to do it properly, and I caught my breath, as I always do, when we get to the part where the baby is born and they name him Jesus. Then on the way home from my parents, car filled to the gills with bb guns and wooden bead sets and the smell of satisfied anticipation and wet snow gear, we were implored by Tess to stop by Amway so she could see the baby Jesus in their nativity set. And since we’d put her off the last several times she’d asked that while driving by, and since we absolutely could not find a good reason not to pull over on private property late at night when everyone is in their pjs and nearly drunk with sleepiness, we did. And she and Peter and I kneeled in the snow and marveled at his curly plastic hair and Tess swore she could feel his heart beating when she put her hand on his plastic chest. And they asked to pray for Grandma. So we did. Prayed for a Christmas miracle of some kind or another. For healing. Or peace. Or something. Just move, Jesus. Please.
Then back into the car and home to be tucked into warm beds with ice water awaiting middle of the night thirst and closet lights sending a shaft of yellow through black rooms. And we collapsed on the couch and marveled over another Christmas season come and gone so quickly and did they get it? And did we, really? And what shall we do differently next year to make sure we keep it simple and about Jesus? And thank God Lulu will be another year older next year and less likely to spend the day sneaking Nana’s antique pottery off the shelves and giving us all a heart attack, but only just as I’m sitting down from the last time she did it.
And now we find ourselves with another week of vacation stretching out before us. The kids and I will welcome my three nieces and nephews for a couple days, since their sainted mother is in Florida with my in-laws and we’ll drink hot cocoa and I’ll watch the kids glide across the pond on their new skates and I’ll wonder what in the world I can cook for seven hungry children. It’ll be great. I have a seven hundred and eighty three things to write about now that there have been so many happenings, but there is enough text on this post, so I’ll pace myself. So please excuse me if it takes the next few weeks to tell the story of our Christmas. There is a lot to tell.