December 25, 2011
It must have been twenty something posts-probably more- on Facebook and Twitter about the presents people received on Christmas. There was more excitement and exclamation points used as the dollar amounts of the presents increased. For all their age and years of hearing the Christmas story, so many of them resorted to listening their pricey gifts one by one, as if that meant they were loved more. And somewhere along the way, they forgot that it isn't a competition.
But they weren't watching my daughter become just a little less baby and a little more girl as she dressed up in a plaid dress, tights, and patent leather Mary Janes. Maybe they didn't understand.
Because that was my Christmas. That, and feeling the tears well up too many times to count because my family was together- Sky kept repeating it as if to remind me. It was him making me stay up until midnight so he could kiss me and be the first one to tell me, "Merry Christmas." It was my dad putting a huge pot of chili and a crockpot full of hot cider on the floorboards of his car to bring them to my house. Explaining to Millie that Santa Claus had eaten cookies even though she doesn't understand it yet. Sky helping clean the house after I'd spent the past three days in the kitchen baking. Dressing Millie in pajamas with candy canes on Christmas Eve, and getting her gussied up on Christmas afternoon even though I was wearing jeans. Calling my mom and little brother who live on the west coast, and coaxing Millie to tell them hi. Watching "A Muppet Christmas Carol" with my family like we always did when I was a kid. Getting a box (with a warning not to open until Christmas) from the sweetest faraway friend. Standing in the kitchen so long every part of me hurt, and tasting the icing before tasting the cookies. My aunt and uncle driving an hour to be here, and my brother driving an hour and a half from another way. Editing pictures of my daughter waving wrapping paper and bows wildly around. Reading her a board book of the Christmas story until she's old enough to hear it from Luke. Wrapping plates of cookies in tin foil for anyone who offered to take a few home. Getting up early to spend a little time together as a family before Sky headed to work.
It means not telling you what I unwrapped on Christmas.
Because it doesn't matter.
Because these things- the un-wrappable things- these are Christmas.
And I hope that yours was as merry as mine.