Monday, December 27, 2010

The Gift

This year, we were fortunate to celebrate five Christmases ... yes, five. The entire month of December in our family is spent gifting each other, opening presents, being grateful, courteous, and remembering the reasons that accompany everything.

Last year, at just over two, you struggled ... as most small children in the same setting are prone to do. You were overwhelmed by Christmastime, and in fact shouted one of my favorite quotes from you yet: I don't like presents. That was cue enough you needed a nap and a break, and we obliged you.

This year, as December began, I wondered how my three-year-old would manage this year's bustle.

At your birthday party, after you opened the giant heap of gifts, you thanked the entire room for their presents, and presence, by telling everyone, You can all go home now! That made the room laugh and your Mama's cheeks very red.

At your first Christmas, at Papa and Grandma G's, you exclaimed Are you kidding me!? every time you opened a gift. It's exactly what a three year old should say at Christmas.

And, on Christmas day, with your Grandpa T. and Grandma S. and Godfather all in a room filled to the top with presents, we explained that everyone had to take turns opening their gifts, so we could take our time and show each other what we received. The goal was to go slow, and be grateful.

And you, my sweet girl, in your traditional Christmas taffeta and tights, were a shining example of graciousness and wonder. For four hours we opened gifts and took pictures and laughed, and unwound your toys from insane packaging and if you're Daddy or Uncle D., guessed what every wrapped box held. It was one of my favorite Christmases yet. I was so proud to be your Mama, as you sat in the big chair with your next intended gift already in your lap. Your turn! you'd tell us all, helping us with bows and tags and corralling the paper as needed.

Being a parent means at every turn, not imaging life ever getting better than it already is ... and delighting when it does.

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