Later in the service, after one small wiggly attitude adjustment in the foyer, Devi proudly held her own lit candle and belted out Away in a Manger and after extinguishing it's flame in a single breath, sang Joy to the World, both hymns that she has recently mastered. After a full day of anticipation, our traditional clam chowder dinner, gift exchange and church with Oma, Devi, twitching in exhaustion, gave up the day home bound and bundled in her car seat. In a deep sleep, with not so much as a sigh, we transitioned her from car to crib.
Awakening on Christmas morning, I could hear daddy and Devi having their good morning conversation. First out of her mouth was, “Where is mommy?” and second came, “Did Santa come and fill our stockings?” It was nice to know I still got top billing! As in previous years, she paused at the nativity to sing happy birthday to baby Jesus and then galloped out to the living room to witness a bit of Christmas morning magic. With a breathy Wwwoooowwwww!!!!! she found the empty plate where cookies for Santa once lay and her stocking overflowing with treasures. Sticking right out of the top was the little white mouse she had wished for. Devi quickly pulled him out, hugged him, kissed him on the nose and uttered, “Awwww, cute little guy!” Promptly pronouncing his name to be Mortimer, she wrapped him in Pokey, her security blanket, and for her, Christmas had come.
Wallowing in our jammies until the very last second, we exchanged gifts, played games, cuddled, listened to music and ate a wonderful breakfast made complete by our neighbor Carol’s freshly baked coffee cake. She alone is personally responsible for adding a few pounds to each of our waistlines this year. Then after Devi’s nap we headed to Papa and Gail’s, their house full of extended family, for turkey dinner with all the trimmings. This is the first year, since my mom passed away December 8th, four years ago, that my dad felt comfortable putting up a Christmas tree in his home and it felt good to renew this old tradition. Most of the family is now grown, but with Devi, her cousin Jake AND Aunt Obie’s newly adopted kitten present, the excitement was kept at an ear splitting level all evening as they chased that poor animal from room to room.
Throughout the holidays, I am loving the selfLESSness and selfISHness of being three. Tenderly Devi watched others open gifts with as much excitement to know what was inside, as when she opened one tagged for herself; an innocence that I hope sticks with her as she ages. Discovering the wonderful feeling that comes with giving and receiving for the first time, I enjoyed watching as she eagerly blurted that she had made the recipient a bar of soap, before they could even make their way through the mound of tape enclosing the home made gift she had wrapped herself. Her genuine thank yous and you're welcomes came without prodding, making Pat and I feel like some of our parenting has rubbed off. It was a wonderful four days of celebration, preparing us to say our final good byes to this year and welcome the next 365 days of parenting adventure.
This year's Christmas funnies.
1. Mommy, if we get up and Santa has not come, do we have to go back to bed?
2. For Halloween next year, I can go as baby Jesus and you can go as Mary. Daddy can be Joseph.
3. For Halloween next year, you can be Eve, Daddy can be Adam and I can be the apple because I don't like the snake.
4. Mommy, when I grow up, I'm going to be a dentist. (After watching Rudolph about 100 times)
5. I'm Hermie, daddy, you are Klondike Cornelius and mommy is the bomb-able snowman.
6. Her favorite game is to have us sing the wrong words to songs and try to trick her. IE: Harvey the green nosed lemur, had a very sticky tongue. She corrects the words and then says, "Mommy, you are silly".
7. Mommy are you a ma'am? Daddy are you a surw? Mommy are you a gurw? Daddy are you a boy?
8. If I had a nickel for every time she asks, "Why was there no rooms in the inn?"
9. She calls the grinch the grump10. We still shout "Christmas Lights" whenever we see them and to her that still includes fast food signs.