This fleeting gap between Christmas and the new year always gives me pause. It's as if time slows down for these few days, gives me more hours to gather my thoughts, sift through my memories, think about where I've come from and where I'd like to be. 

I think about Immy, and being a mom, and how parenting seems to get easier and harder at the same time with every new year.

I think about where we were this time last year, and where we will be this time next year when we unwrap the baubles, string up the tinsel, and lay the Christmas table for our traditional meal.

I think about the ordinary rituals that make this such a special time. Boney M's 'When a child is born' which always brings tears to my eyes. Wrapping the gifts late at night, each one chosen with love, a reflection of the person receiving the gift as much as a reflection of me. Reminding myself to let go of any expectations I may have of everything being perfect, relaxing into it instead, enjoying the moments for what they are.

I think about love, and family, and togetherness and healing, and how thankful I am for all of it.

Our Christmas this year played out like this.

:: Christmas Eve dinner. Laying a beautiful, simple table, hosting family and friends in my home - these things make my heart sing.

:: Family. Last year, things were still very broken and we were unable to have Rob share in our Christmas meal. I am so grateful that this year we could be together, celebrating this special time with our daughter.

We missed having my parents with us. But we extended our arms to a family friend instead, hugged her into our home, enjoyed how it felt to have one more at our dinner table.

:: The prize for best gift-wrapping definitely went to Rob.  Ribbons and brown paper and bows are our thing.

:: Christmas crackers, and the corny jokes that come out of them.

:: Eventually Immy was in bed, everyone had left and we set the scene. Snowy footprints, chewed up carrots, half-eaten biscuits. I sat in the dark, taking it all in. The twinkling tree, the gifts, the wonder and magic of Christmas through the eyes of a child. The air itself felt hushed, our corner of the world waiting quietly for Christmas morning.

Christmas morning. She woke up at 6am, and told me, eyes wide, how she HEARD the elves in the night, squeaking on the wooden floorboards. She woke Rob up, and we all headed downstairs to see if Santa had come. I didn't take pictures, because I wanted to LIVE it, be part of it. Her wonder, and excitement and grownup way of talking talking talking through it so that she wouldn't seem over-eager. Examining the footprints, rubbing the 'snow' between her fingers, before settling down to open her gifts, tearing the paper off, eyes bright with happiness.

I know it's not about the toys, or the food, or the tree. Maybe next year I'll scale back a bit.

But for now, for this year, all of it made the best gift - wrapped up in a bundle of love, and gratitude, and peace.

Merry Christmas to all.


Ashleigh said…
My heart is all warm and happy after reading this! Beautiful post, Megs.