I LOVE Christmas time. I have memories galore of the magic, the excitement, the beauty, the giving...everything. I've celebrated in two different countries on two different continents with gatherings both big and small. I've celebrated in the middle of the snowy mountains of Maine, the tea highlands of Kenya, on the shores of the Indian Ocean, and in the rainy clouds of the Pacific Northwest.
It's not new information but it's new for each parent; celebrating with kids makes everything even more fun and more magical. This year The Princess is really getting what's going on around her. She got to help pick out the tree and we oohed and aahed over all of the decorations. I've caught her kissing her favorites more than once! My carefully placed display on the piano has been moved and rearranged more times than I can say and at some point Woody, from Toy Story, was added to the silvery glitter ornaments; the missing touch apparently.
We're singing Christmas carols all month long and this year I'm explaining a lot of them too. We've put out out all of my nativity sets and this year the Princess is playing with the non breakable ones and telling the story herself. We'll go to the Christmas Eve service and remember again why it is that we celebrate in the first place.
In the midst of all the excitement and magic, while decorating the tree and dancing to another Christmas song, I'm also caring for an infant. She sits on my hip contentedly taking in the sparkle, laughter and energy swirling around her. She's sleeps swaddled in my arms or in the basket at my feet. She forces me to sit and rest when it's time for her to eat. She's completely dependent on us for everything and it is such a privilege and a joy to be responsible for her care.
Which of course makes me think of Mary and Joseph and the privilege and joy they were given when chosen to care for Jesus. And my breath catches at the perplexing and profound thought of Jesus as a baby, like my own precious girl, and the magic of the season becomes so much more sacred and meaningful.