Monday, December 24, 2007

'Twas the night before Christmas...

...and all through the house was the scent of Crispex mix and the strains of the "Hallelujah Chorus." Once upon a time I sang first soprano on that song. It's hard for me to sing now, not just because I can't hit half the notes anymore, but because it reminds me that I'm getting older.

We put the presents under the tree after Abby went to bed tonight. I don't like being on this side of Christmas morning magic. Through it's been many, many years since I knew the truth about how those shiny boxes got under the tree, it's a whole 'nother reality to be the one to actually put them there. No clue if Abby will be all that wowed--after all, she saw me wrapping them--so I guess next year will be the start of the true shock and awe of an empty space being suddenly chock-full of goodies--not that we'll fill it with too much chock.

It's been a funky holiday season. Maui was fab, but it really threw off the season for me--for everyone, really; we've all been talking about it. The last few days since we've been home have been non-stop. I even had to brave the mall this morning to finish up on my gift-buying. We had all sorts of plans to walk the fun decked-out neighborhoods with Abby, our resident Christmas light glutton, but only managed to make it to one. I haven't watched "It's a Wonderful Life" yet, which is my most favorite holiday movie ever, and while I can watch it any time I want to, it's certainly not the same after the holiday is over. Sigh.

And for the first time since 1996, I didn't go to church on Christmas Eve. Church is just so darn hard with a toddler.

But now the rush is over. The presents are all wrapped and in bags to take to my parents' or Dan's parents' places, or else under the tree for Abby's first Christmas morning surprise. The kitchen is pretty much cleaned, my clothes and Abby's chosen for the morning, and NBC is showing my movie. My focus can finally come off the preparations and decorations and expectations and remember why it is December 25 is such a big deal.

A nervous father, a teen-aged mother, and a squalling baby feeling the weight of humanity on his tiny frame for the first time.

Happy birthday, Jesus.

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