Saturday, December 22, 2007
Holiday Memories - Sunday Scribblings
I had been divorced almost a year. Making ends meet was tough, but I taught full time and mothered full time, and I like to think I was successful. Maybe I was, because this Christmas, my first as a divorced mom, would hold precious memories for me.
The twins were four and a half years old and in pre-K. They were at the age where Christmas is still a mystery, Santa is unquestionably real yet somewhat scary, and holiday cheer was something you’d see on people’s rosy cheeks, almost so tangible it could be felt.
The kids performed in the church program, singing a couple of carols with the other children. Lots of memories for the scrapbook. We made sugar cookies from scratch for Santa. I always remember that my son was more likely to want to help make the cookies than my daughter, though you’d think it would be the reverse. We also threw reindeer food in the yard for Rudolph and the gang (birdseed and such). This is also the Christmas that I started the tradition that they get a gift from Rudolph as well as Santa. Seven years later, we still do this.
Their excitement at having the big guy come down the chimney is a precious memory. They were concerned that we would have a fire in the fireplace (we didn’t). They inspected the inside of the fireplace and had to go outside and see the chimney, probably trying to imagine how Santa’s magic actually worked. You could almost see the gears turning inside their heads. They were also concerned that he wouldn’t know where we lived, but I reassured them by reminding them that, not only did they send a letter to Santa, but he wrote back. Besides, I had his number and could call him any time.
Little ones finally went to sleep. I ate the cookies (didn’t you?) and drank some of the milk we left. I was careful to leave some crumbs on purpose so it would look like Santa ate in a hurry. I took some soot from the fireplace, and patted it out on the hearth and carpet. After I was certain they were fast asleep with visions of sugarplums (or more likely, visions of presents and bows) in their heads, I retrieved their new bicycles from their hiding place in the garage. I took their stockings down and filled them to the brim with goodies, laid them on the couch, and finally went to bed myself.
The next morning, the squeals of delight woke me. “Santa was here! Santa was here! He brought us bikes!” Absolutely nothing is more joyful than a child’s happiness on Christmas morning. They rode their shiny bikes (with training wheels) in the house in their pajamas which made for some cute photos. Part of what makes this memory so special is that I was responsible – I was! Not someone else and I! Not my ex-husband and I! Not my parents and I! I was responsible for their holiday experience, and later, after breakfast, stockings, visits from the grandparents, and more presents, I couldn’t have been happier. All because they were happy!
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