christmas

by lani

christmas morning began early, as it tends to for families with little kids. our small ones are too young to understand the idea of a holiday or presents though; christmas began early because, well, every day begins early. by 8am they had toured the house, eaten crackers, unwrapped a gift of towels (intended for mommy and daddy), and dropped all the characters of their play nativity set into the djembe, save for one lone camel in the hallway.

oh, and ash banged his face hard enough to loosen his front teeth and give himself a fat lip. merry christmas.

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daddy tried to persuade him to open his stocking as a consolation, but he shook his head softly and burrowed into my shoulder, poor lamb.

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he was finally distracted when i removed several toy cars from his stocking and handed them to him.

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grandpa and grandma came for brunch, bringing glad tidings of great joy, and also christmas cranberry cake. the kids bypassed the glad tidings and went straight for the cake.

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the morning was as delightful as only a christmas morning with little children can be. their eyes grew wider with each gift, and we laughed and made small memories of aida’s car noises, ash using his toy drill on aida’s head (much to her delight), aida cuddling her baby doll, ash opening his carrot pouch full of cloth bunnies and wrinkling his little nose. tiny, sweet memories that lose so much in the retelling.

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i love it when a family’s christmas tree tells their story. an evergreen scrapbook of family history we set up once a year, special occasions and children’s handprints and gifts from friends dotting the branches.

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our special ornaments were crowded into the top 18 inches of tree space, to keep them well away from tiny hands. there were a few casualties this year, but perhaps they will be even more precious, their cracks and glue a sweet reminder of tiny hands and curious eyes.

last year was a christmas of scarcity and illness; this year was a christmas of abundance. we remember the wisdom of the hard years, the years when christmas brought sharp pangs of grief, loneliness, and confusion. but oh, we reveled in this, our first truly joyful christmas in 4 years.

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surrounded by family from near and far, with the light of small children in our eyes and the life of small children in our arms, communing on this holiday, this holy-day, this day of rest, it was a merry christmas, indeed!

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