Merry Christmas to You...

I'm sitting here tonight, the night after Christmas, in a dim living room. It's not quiet, because I have Sufjan Stevens cranked up on the record player. Mark is working in the other room, doing a little coding. Laurel is upstairs, presumably falling asleep. Our Christmas tree is still lit by strings of multi-colored lights that seem to burn out and then come back spontaneously...a different section each time I plug in the tree. Must be a loose wire. Christmas this year was/is magical and chaotic, the way everything is when one of you is two.

I wish I had some photos to share. We tried to take some, and now I don't know where the camera is, and there's no way I'm coming out from my Santa Snuggie to hunt for it. (Especially since I cannot guarantee the quality of the images, when the parents were battling colds and the daughter was moving a hundred miles a minute.)

So, you'll have to rely on my words. Just picture the back of a thirty-some inch tall girl in red polka-dot tights, and bouncing blonde pig-tails, disappearing around the corner. Because she really didn't stop moving the whole weekend.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day we visited with family. We're entering another phase where there seem to be more and more little ones running around each year. Mark's sister's daughter is just old enough to grab at wrapping paper and stare at Christmas lights. She has this way of making eye contact, bursting into a wide grin and then hiding her face in whoever's sleeve she happens to be sitting with. Also, she's little enough that she stays put. I love that age! (It's fleeting.)

The time with my family was characterized by good food, good drink and chasing Laurel all over whatever house we happened to be in. We did the traditional Christmas poppers, albeit in a very rushed way.

Christmas morning, we spent at home. Laurel definitely started to understand the concept of presents sometime around her birthday, so now she unwraps gifts with anticipation, and makes a lot of cute "oh, wow!" noises, regardless of what is inside. She likes to keep the bags and put other things in them, sometimes old toys or little scraps of paper. Later she'll pretend to go through the whole motion of openings gifts again, making equally cute and excited noises, even if what she's "opening" is a dirty sock.

M bought her (us?) a djembe. We also stocked up on art supplies, including a packet of googly eyes. Christmas carried over into today when we sat down together and did some spontaneous crafting. M surprised me with his early-childhood-educator skills (where did those come from??!!), as he designed a snow-man cut and paste art project on the fly.

The memories I will hold are mostly about things that just happened. Driving around late at night (well, late for us anyway) and looking at the Christmas lights. Listening to Laurel's jumbled Santa-Jesus-Birthday narrative. Secretly looking for mistletoe so I could kiss the guy who reminds me to Keep Calm and Carry On. Looking up at a sky full of stars - a rare event on our well-lit block - on Christmas Eve. Sitting here next to my Christmas tree, getting through the longest night of the year. Remembering that the dark nights are a necessary part of the cyclical nature of our existence.

Merry Christmas. I'm looking forward to spending the next week in reflection and preparation for 2012, and anticipating a happy new year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes our traditional Popper Extravaganza was rushed this year. I was afraid the Little People were quickly reaching their limit and I wanted to finish before we lost them :) Oh well, I still enjoy sharing this event with my nieces and nephews and thank them for continuing to humor me. Love to all, Aunt DC