It’s Christmas Eve again, and a wonderful one it’s been.
The family has been on-the-go this evening, and it’s smaller than most have been lately. I’d gotten a little used to having Janice’s sister’s family here for Christmas Eve and Day, and sort of miss the chaos. They won’t be here until Friday or Saturday. I do miss Lisa and my late-night wrapping party on the kitchen floor. I also miss the days when I could go to my one church service of the year, the carol sing and midnight service at their church. Despite missing those things, it was lovely to watch Cameron tonight. Because this year is the beginning of Christmas for him. Perhaps he’ll even remember snippets in years to come – but what?
We pulled on coats and boots to step outside tonight, little bag of hay, birdseed, and sparkles in hand. You guessed it, food for the reindeer! I’m sure the sparkles are to assist parents with flashlights in the dark, to ensure the hay has been ‘eaten’ by morning. Cameron’s eyes sparkled as he eagerly tossed hay out into the wind (no need for us to remember to collect the hay tonight). Later, Dad headed out with a big, fat carrot to add to the remnants. Cameron didn’t notice that most of the hay was already gone.
Cameron selected five cookies for a plate for Santa, but insisted that Santa wouldn’t like milk. I refrained from suggesting a rum and coke.
Then when I requested it Janice pulled Cameron onto her knee by the crèche. She told the Christmas Story using the fabric characters with simple grace, keeping everything at Cameron’s level. When she was done, I added what I have told Cameron already: when Jesus grew up, he changed the world through what he taught people. I’m very much not religious. I do not consider myself to be a Christian. However, I do recognize that the teachings in the Bible are valuable in their own way, and the ‘stories’ are a part of the fabric of our society.
Cameron and I talked quietly by the tree about Christmas and family. That is what it is all about to me. Being with, loving, feeling family. We give gifts, but that’s not the important part.
Dad read The Night Before Christmas to Cameron, while Janice and I eavesdropped outside his bedroom door.
Now Dad and Janice have left for Church, and I have a few presents to finish and to wrap. I have a blue and white striped bath duck for Cameron to go in his stocking, as he specifically asked Santa for a blue duck. There is also a twilight turtle for him from me. I need to finish stringing stars and angels on ribbon, and wrap them and the glass ornaments.
In a way I look at the gifts I am giving for Christmas and I feel awful. That’s it? I see the piles of gifts for Cameron and myself from Dad and Janice, and the gifts they are giving each other as well. Cameron’s and my gifts look small and inadequate. I know, though, that it’s okay. They know I’ve had no time, or energy, and very little money. They know they’ll get home made gifts, and they know it won’t be like the angels I have cross stitched in the past – they know I don’t have that kind of time. I also know that they’ll cherish these ornaments far more than anything I could buy.
I think I need to go sit by the tree and have the same chat with myself that I had with Cameron.