As a kid, I loved Christmas, a lot, and for all of the reasons that middle-class white Christian kids often are, from the warm fuzzies to the consumerist frenzies. But of course, through the stresses of family, the hypercritical approach to culture of this profession, years of MLA mania, and plain-ol' jadedness, Christmas had lost a lot of its sheen. Oh I still love me a fresh-cut tree, and some Nat King Cole in late December, but I've become a New Year's type more than a Christmas type, whatever that is.
But man, these kids...they remind you. Now three, Rambunctious and Imperia are really experiencing Christmas for the first time in many ways. The cookie making, the tree trimming, the wrapping paper, the extra sparkle and glitter of life when you're three and it's Christmas.
A story: while I got to sleep in the other morning, Willow and the kids wrapped some presents for under the tree (we're waaaaay ahead on preparations). Imperia, wearing her pajamas, laid down in the middle of the paper, and declared, "I will be a present. Wrap me!"
Another: Rambunctious is looking forward to making a gingerbread train with his 6-year old friend and personal savior, Johnny. He is looking forward to it, because when he is done he will take "a liiiitttle bite. Just a liiiiittttle bite." We believe him.
The advent calendars are up. The tree is decorated. Stockings are hung by the staircase (what can you do?) for most of the twelve people who will be here for some long stay over the holidays (Now all I need is a really good eggnog recipe). Many, many gifts are wrapped (though some are not yet purchased). It's only early December, but somehow, I'm more excited about Christmas than I have been in years.