A House is Especially a Home on Christmas Morning
As I woke this morning to the sound of snowplows, I realized: this is the last Christmas morning I will awake in this house. That excites me, and yet I am a little sad, as well.
Our first Christmas here our son Carter was 20 months old. The holidays are magical with little ones — everything is sparkly, shiny, crinkly — and untouchable! I remember Francesca in her exersaucer a few years later, spinning fervently as she laughed at her brother, zooming around from gift to gift. My kids are teenagers now, and the joy hasn’t subsided — but things HAVE changed. Gone are the early morning wakeups, with giggling footy-PJ clad wiggle worms leaping in our beds, pleading with us to get up, get up! Last night the four of us snuggled in our bed (boy that master has shrunk, now that the kids are as big as we are!), giggling and opening our family ornaments. A tradition — each year I give them an ornament representative of who they are that year, or what they have done. Rich got suitcases marked for London, reminiscent of our spring trip there. Carter got a ball decorated with a car zooming off to the tune of “I’m outta here!” to commemorate getting his driver’s license. Francesca’s was a personalized, bright pink nail polish bottle — which perfectly sums up her 13 year old focus this year! This year the family reciprocated, and I got a shiny black stiletto, reminding me of my (hopefully last) foot surgery!
I was up early today (not by choice. Somewhere in this house there is a watch or something whose alarm has been mysteriously going off at 5am for the past 3 days. Grrr….). I tidied up a little, as we had dear friends over last night for Christmas eve dinner. Soon Rich will be up, I am sure. I need his help — the dogs are my new giggly wiggle worms: they are frantic about their stockings! But I am sure we will be dragging the kids out of bed. It’s not that they aren’t excited about Christmas — last night I saw glimpses of their chubby cheeked younger selves, as they rearranged packages and laughingly exchanged gifts with friends. That’s a new joy this year: they are more excited about what they chose for those they love, than what they received in return. That’s a proud mama moment.
And it’s another example of how things are changing. As I said, this is our last Christmas here. Next year, Minnehaha watershed district willing, I will be listening to new sounds, and we will be making new memories. And isn’t that the best thing about Christmas: remembering what happened at previous holidays. Every ornament tells a story, and each house is just a vessel for all the love inside.
I do hope you and your loved ones enjoy a magical Christmas this year (or Kwanzaa, or Hanukkah, or Festivus — or whatever!). However you choose to celebrate, just do it. It’as days like today that make all the permit hassles and deadlines worth it! Merry Christmas!