It’s 6:55 on December 25, the day on which we measure the Mass of Christ in toys and electronics. I’m the only one up besides the cats, one of whom, Oscar, keeps trying to eat the bows and curly ribbons off of the boxes that have them, which is why I didn’t bother putting any on the ones that I wrapped. Every once in a while, I’ll hear a rustling, run out by the tree, and there will be Oscar, nestled up close by a present, gnawing away. It freaks him out, and he backs away in a rush, and out comes a big, nasty, chewed up mess of ribbon that has been half-way down his throat. Merry Christmas!
The giant box to the right there is something Amanda has been asking about for ages – a toy kitchen. Why she wants this, neither of us knows. It certainly isn’t due to the prowess of either of us in the real kitchen, that’s for sure. Alissa doesn’t cook and I merely “heat things up.” But every time we saw one of these in a store, she went nuts. It was her “lap request” to Santa, so we had to make it happen, and it was harder than we thought – sold out here, there, everywhere, bought online to ship to the store, didn’t arrive, first call to customer service resulted in basically a “hmm!” from their end and finally the second call resulted in them shipping it directly to us, and it arrived Monday night – FOUR WEEKS after it was ordered!
If you recall last Christmas, Amanda wasn’t so thrilled with Santa’s presence in the house. Most kids, “Santa’s here? Holy shit, presents!” Not our Amanda. Santa was that most unwanted of interlopers, and she stood at the farthest point of the house, back turned to him, pretending he wasn’t here. So this year, with Santa mere hours away and bedtime beckoning, tears welled in her eyes with fear that Santa would try to come in her room. That mean old man who comes and leaves presents, you know. So we told her that we’d put a sign on her door and that I would make sure to keep him out. “If he tries to come in your room I’ll beat him up, okay?” I said, and she thought that was okay. Because I’m that brave.
I wondered how difficult Christmas was going to be this year, if maybe it was going to be made harder with the limited time after Danielle was born, but I found instead that I simply found ways to make it work – and I hardly bought anything online, amazingly. One item, one extremely hard to find, in-demand item, was bought months ago, and then the rest I stopping here and there on the way home from work, or running out on weekends to get. It worked out, but more than that, it was great fun – more fun shopping for Christmas than I’ve had in a long time, in fact. I’ve lamented in the past that some of the fun of Christmas shopping had disappeared and I think it may be due to the reliance on online sources for many things. Easy? Yes. Satisfying? Not so much. There’s something visceral lost about getting into the shops filled with holiday decorations that can’t be had from going to a website with a header graphic with snowflakes in it. I’ll try to remember it in the future, but the temptation will remain, I’m sure, to simply sit behind the computer and click “Buy Now!” rather than brave the crowds. I’ll try to resist it just to keep some of that holiday spirit in check.
And, speaking of holiday spirit, the picture we sent out with our cards of the girls . . . this was a much harder picture to get than you’d think, not because of 3 week old Danielle but because it is nearly impossible to get a 3 year old to smile naturally on command:
That’s the true meaning of Christmas to me. Merry Christmas, everyone.