Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tallying it Up

What We Didn't Get for Christmas

  • the gift I ordered for Bubba two weeks ago. FedEx hasn't been able to navigate the icy and snowy roads to get it here yet.
  • extended family
  • pumpkin pie (or any kind of dessert, for that matter)

What We Did Get for Christmas

  • two little girls who woke us up at 6:30 because they couldn't wait a moment longer to find out what Santa had left for them.
  • homemade calendars with examples of the girls' artwork in them - one for each of our home offices.
  • a nap (well, I got one - I don't know about anyone else).
  • squeals of delight as the girls opened their gifts from me and Bubba.
  • four games of Scrabble and a family game of Sorry.
  • not one sibling squabble (no, really. They even asked to have a sleepover with each other tonight).
  • another six inches of the fluffiest, whitest, most beautiful snow I think I've ever seen.
  • phone calls from friends and family wishing us love and peace...

...and so much more. It is difficult to estimate the vast difference between the way this day played out and the way it was planned, over two months ago. Regardless of the fact that we weren't in the city we expected to be in, eating the Christmas dinner we planned on eating, sitting in a room full of cousins and grandparents as the kids tore the wrapping off of piles of gifts, I couldn't envision a better day.

Over the past week we have all found our own way to come to terms with the circumstances that have us here in our house, without extended family. My eldest has had the most difficult time, mourning the loss of time with her cousin and the new babies she's dying to see. She has shed buckets of frustrated tears over and over again as she peers out the window to watch the snow fall. Bubba has had to overcome serious cabin fever and contend with my sanguine attitude about it all. The youngest is just happy to have us all together. She doesn't care what we're doing at all.

This morning, the oldest pulled me aside and thanked me for the gifts she received. As I hugged her she whispered, "I don't even care that we're not in Oregon. It's a perfect Christmas, Mommy."

Who needs pumpkin pie?


The Finely Tuned Woman said...

Pumpkin pie was high on my list too, but I didn't have any either. Still, I managed to survive Christmas without it. It was a nice and quiet affair and I lived through it all in one piece. That's saying a lot.

Jerri said...

Merry Christmas to one and all.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Such a spiritual lesson, and one I've struggled with now for 13, count 'em, days - to accept the effing gift already! Note to self: Sometimes we don't get what we want - we get what we need.

Deb said...

So many of us have had a Christmas of surprise gifts this year. And maybe the best gift of all - the ability to recognize them while we grieve the loss of what wasn't. You've expressed the paradox beautifully here. Your family time sounds incredible - just like you.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Glad you had a wonderful CHristmas despite it all!

And BTW, I want that pie.

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