Ahhh, that was fun!
I had a merry Christmas, but I tell ya it was a close one. Christmas Eve were to have a little party at our house, and in the days preceding, I was more than a little stressed at preparing the house for guests. This being no easy feat of cleaning, and balancing the not cleaning yet, of stuff that life and the Chaos Girls will trash between then and the party regardless. Saturday found me tense and unkind, unhappy with the season and finding fault with my beloved and children.
It never helps that I am conflicted with the timing of Christmas (not that I am in any way shuffling off the responsibility for my crusty behavior... it's mine and I was a grouch). The whole business about most of the "symbols" of Christ in the season actually being co-opted Pagan Midwinter hoodie-doo. The part about how this ain't even close to the date when Jesus was actually born... whatever. When did I become an intellectual purist?
Besides... if I wanted to get all theologically technical? All things point to Christ anyway.... and the Pagan stuff was itself, a corrupted form of eternal truths. So what does it matter how we get there? For some reason it matters to me, just enough to throw me off my stride... that and the lying about Santa bit.
The fact that scholars and revelation agree that the Savior was born in the springtime? When did I get so picky? My fifteenth birthday was set back an entire month so that our family could celebrate the marriage of my oldest sister. Believe me, I wasn't all that bugged by the delay or the fact that my "birthday cake" was a resuscitated half a frozen sheet cake from her wedding reception. Instead, I parlayed the shifting of my birthday celebration into my first ever "friends" birthday party complete with Domino's Pizza, drinks and a rented video showing of Repo Man.
Comically, that was 1984, the year that the movie Sixteen Candles came out. I never did understand why the crap the main character hadn't given her whole family a heads up at least two weeks in advance to remind them of her upcoming birthday. I guess coming from a family of six kids is a titch different than three. I never assumed that my folks would remember too much of anything!
I, of all people, should relax about a little fudging in dates.
That wasn't the problem. I was the problem. Nothing that a little bit of prayer and meditation couldn't fix. Looking back on Christmas, I am shocked to see that this Christmas was perfect. It was so perfect that I couldn't even see it because I was so busy living it.
Everything was present. Warm and comfortable home, healthy children, family and friends, love, food and gifts...
We made and delivered treats to neighbors, made ornaments for the tree, a gingerbread house, parties, kept it all relatively Christ focused and even had a particularly touching and wonderful opportunity to do service for someone who had a need this season. It's good to be useful to another, and to teach our sweet girls that service and charity is an essential part of celebrating Christmas.
Sweetest of all...
All year Birdie has wanted a My Little Pony Butterfly Island from Santa Clause. She has been scheming and hoping and drooling over the fun she will have. In the meantime LaLa has developed a deep love for her all time favorite pony... Hona-Lu-Lu. It is her "whay-vwit." When Santa went online to purchase the Island and a few other pony essentials, he was nonplussed to find that Hona-Lu-Lu was not in the Hasbro pantheon of ponys for sale. Imagine Santa's surprise and discomfort when the UPS dude delivered the Island and sundries, and he got a good look at the Pony Island set. It comes with Hona-Lu-Lu.
Santa said... "Oh, crap!" Serious as a heart attack, that's what came out of his jolly mouth! He thought long and hard about simply having the set out and assembled, and putting the Hona-Lu-Lu pony in with LaLa's stuff. In the end he decided against it because that Birdie is one sharp cookie. She probably is perfectly aware of every last bit of plastic hoopty-doo that is included in with the Butterfly Island.
Christmas morning, and the box containing the Island is being ripped into like a terrier rips into a fresh rat hole. Birdie finds the Hona-Lu-Lu pony and says, "Oh! LaLa, it's Hona-Lu-Lu! Your favorite... here." Whereupon she hands her sister the pony, and that was that.
I tell you, it was a perfect Christmas.