Christmas Day


One of the greatest satisfactions of Christmas morning growing up was gathering all my opened presents into a big loot pile I’d just sit back and survey. Surrounded by wrapping paper shreds and a sea of shag carpet was my heap of treasures–the Cabbage Patch doll, the new legwarmers, the Kissing Coolers and Bonne Bell chapsticks all pushed into a pile that was mine. Before I even played with any of it, there was that moment amid the mess of Christmas morning that the simple sight of those gifts, arranged in a pile together, made me feel so lucky and loved and full.

Thirty years later, I sit on the floor of my living room next to a fire, second cup of coffee in hand. The sun has just barely risen, but the house is fully awake. Three piles of treasures begin to form amid scraps of wrapping paper, and I watch as my children gush over new Barbies and Legos and more glue to make slime. I slowly survey the living room and take in every bit of the scene–the way Brett gently calls “Hey Buddy” to Dash to distract him from opening his sisters’ presents, the chipped nail polish on Nella’s little fingernails as she carefully peels back the paper on her gifts, the ribbon Lainey tucked around her neck like a scarf, the dog asleep on the couch, my dad and Gary excitedly making over every little thing Dash holds up to show them, the music, the warmth, our home.

 photo print 52_zpsiak4zqsi.jpg

This is my pile of gifts, this is my Christmas treasure, and though the greatest excitement of this morning is associated with childhood, nothing can compare with how lucky and loved and full I feel at this moment.

 photo print 42_zps9q7fvj9m.jpg

Yes, the living room’s a mess, and yes this recognition of gifts comes with the pain that life is so very fragile and this scene will change every year, but for a moment, everything I love is pushed together into a pile in my mind, and I sit back and survey it and whisper a million thank-yous before I get up to refill my cup, grab a garbage bag, take a picture, wipe a nose, pull the sticky buns out of the oven. This...this is my favorite thing about Christmas.

 photo print 4_zpsxggu1z5k.jpg

Looking back, a few scenes from our Christmas:

Making Florida snowmen Christmas Eve from frozen corn starch, shaving cream and peppermint oil.

 photo print 12_zpsjnn7wwrt.jpg

Our Christmas cake that Dash slowly devoured little by little every chance he had to sneak away and help himself.

 photo print 15_zpsfkxle7mj.jpg

 photo print 17_zpssvmntyv4.jpg

Baby of the family motto: Just give it to him.

 photo print 70_zps1p6ukpbq.jpg

Christmas Eve bar with our signature drink “The Rudolph”: 1.5 oz Bourbon, 1 oz. fresh lemon juice, 3/4 oz. rosemary simple syrup, shaken and poured on ice. Garnish with rosemary sprig (and a cranberry Rudolph nose, suggested by Instagram followers who were clever to tie in that title).

 photo print 20_zpsm0hq20mo.jpg

Dash wanted to address his own presents, and in true baby-of-the-family fashion, he wowed us with how many letters he can write on his own. My favorite for all my kids has always been their first capital “E” with, like, 19 lines coming out of it.

 photo print 23_zpskucrawtm.jpg

Crossing off some of the last things on our Holiday Bucket List (taking it down, dating it and tucking it away in our keepsake drawer today)…

 photo print 22_zpszsh8wydp.jpg

 photo print 24_zps6wslm9u9.jpg

Setting up our reindeer runway and sprinkling some treats for Santa’s reindeer…

 photo print 29_zpsh15mcrru.jpg

 photo print 26_zpslzopncz1.jpg

Milk & Cookies for Santa…

 photo print 32_zpsryjg1nd7.jpg

Watching The Family Stone Christmas Eve, my favorite…

 photo print 41_zpszauuaipz.jpg

Santa’s gifts waiting…

 photo print 44_zpsj1ugqxsr.jpg

 photo print 48_zpsdruh1wky.jpg

 photo print 50_zps09yhfc0d.jpg

Christmas Morning.

 photo print 51_zpsossnaxye.jpg

 photo print 55_zpscjbfkojg.jpg

 photo print 59_zpsu0g2sidc.jpg

The girls wanted “real baby” dolls, and Santa delivered. They played with them all day Christmas day and requested we pull out the old baby car seat from the attic.

 photo print 64_zpsgiyzmsjo.jpg
(Santa purchased this doll for the girls, for those who asked).

 photo print 65_zpsbgjaiaat.jpg

 photo print 66_zpsvqbhqalr.jpg
(Palm Springs Playhouse from Land of Nod.)

 photo print 68_zpsliniotb1.jpg

Lainey does not gush emotionally, so it meant a whole lot when she looked at me and said, “I can’t even tell you how happy I am this Christmas.”

My Christmas spirit may be a festive little elf for the month of December, but every year on Christmas Day, it goes into this deeply reflective place that–this year–had me crying in the bathroom. I feel too much–this is my burden to bear, and it does come with bonuses, so don’t feel too bad. “I don’t even know why I’m crying,” I told Brett. My sister recently likened this feeling to therapy dogs–a friend who had one said that on therapy days, the dog gets more exhausted than when he runs at the park. On therapy days, the dog soaks up the emotions of all those he’s around and loving, and that’s a lot to bear. Even when I tell myself “low standards” and “just chill” for Christmas day, I can’t help but feel so aware of how much I love the people I’m with and everything everyone is feeling–even if it’s all good–that I just go into therapy dog mode and soak up too many feelings and then fall into an exhausted heap Christmas night.

Loving people is so hard and so wonderful. And as much as I love Christmas, there’s a reason it only comes once a year.

 photo print 72_zpscju51ryk.jpg

Taking this heap of gifts into the week as we continue to soak up family, feel grateful for everything this year has given us and move forward toward the new year…onward, my friends.

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday…wishing you more love into the new year. xo

Leaving you with my post on Instagram from Christmas night: Lying in bed with the girls as they fell asleep tonight, I heard the ghost of Christmas past…quiet little sobs: “I don’t want to go to bed, Mom, because when we wake up, it will all be over.” My mom reminded me today that I was exactly the same (and maybe still am 😊)–cried every Christmas night growing up, so sad for the end of the anticipation. So I held Lainey’s hand and told her about the words that have become my anthem…There Is More. We are the keepers of the secret power of recognizing and creating celebrations among ordinary days, and that power lasts all year. Everything we love about this season is scattered throughout the rest of the year too–opportunities for gathering, music, giving and gratitude. How many sunsets will take our breath away this next year? How many nights will we fall asleep, feeling warm and full and loved? How many adventures await us? “There’s so much to look forward to,” I told her. “Let’s start tomorrow with a walk on the beach.” ❤️ Merry Christmas…there is more.

The post Christmas Day appeared first on Enjoying the Small Things.

http://ift.tt/2BXZBdn

Advertisements

2 comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s