I ended the day yesterday with a few quiet moments as Norah slept and Jude and Scott were somehow still building with Legos. (At 10:26 pm!) I had time to take a look at photos from the camera while deliberately ignoring the heaps of toys and mess all over the house. There were very few still and quiet moments this year with two kids at these ages. I find myself wanting to record a few details about this Christmas before I forget and life speeds to another season.
Christmas Eve had us at my grandparents’ home. I have spent every single Christmas Eve of my life there, not even missing one. The same house, the same faces and voices – rooms full of loud cousins and noisy siblings. Norah and Jude fed off the excitement the same way I did as a child, and watching them brought back so many of my own memories.
Try as we might to get children to understand the meaning of the season, it is PRESENTS PRESENTS PRESENTS at these ages, and I am totally okay with it. What better way to learn to understand love and generosity than to first understand what a joy it is to receive and give? They were so enthused about each and every package this year.
I watched them with their cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and great-grandparents. Family ties feel so much stronger during the holidays somehow, don’t they?
By the time we got home Christmas Eve, it was something like 9:30. Add getting the kids in bed and the car unloaded, and I felt depleted. But the second you start getting ready to play Santa, you get a burst of energy because really and truly, there are not many things about parenthood that are as fun as Christmas morning. That unadulterated joy and genuine excitement when two pajama-clad kids walk down the stairs? Priceless.
I found an awesome play teepee on Land of Nod, and Norah’s toys were mostly baby dolls this year with a stroller and a cradle, while Jude got Lego sets and Transformers which have only allowed him to come downstairs for a moment to grab lunch. He LOVES building sets and such. It astounds me. For a moment, I think I got a glimpse of what Christmas morning will feel like in another five years when they rip into presents and stay busy all day while I crack open a book for some leisure time (what is that!?) This year had me burping and feeding baby dolls until Norah’s nap time though. I’m okay with the attention she needs seeing how fast Jude has grown and how independent he has become this year.
After naptime, we headed over to my in-laws for round three. Lots of craziness with four under five, but they loved it.
It’s such an intense season of parenting we’re in right now. But I know for certain that God sees it best to reward your extra efforts with such big doses of magic. Am I sleep-deprived and exhausted and rarely organized? Yes. But these years of believing in magic without question and being so impressed with even the tiniest toys and gifts? I know they are short, and while my holidays will be far more relaxed one day soon enough, I get to see Christmas through the eyes of these two right now, and it really is a pretty magical sight.
Happy Christmas to you and yours, and I wish you the best in the last days of 2013. The end of the year always has me a little reflective and, honestly, a little sad. Life is sweet, and each year is precious. Make the most of this one. Happy Holidays, friends! Praying for peace on Earth and in the hearts of all of us.