Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Our Christmas Miracle

It was about 4:30 in the afternoon on Christmas Eve. While Ken took a well-deserved nap, Dean and I snuggled on the sofa and I read him the last few pages of Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory. It's a beautiful, bittersweet story and the last paragraphs are hard to read aloud without choking up (for me, anyway). We went to pick out another book, and stopped by the windows to look outside at the dusky sky and snow-covered yard. Dean said, "I really wish I could open just one present," and I stopped myself from giving the grown-up answer ("there will be plenty of presents to open tomorrow"). Instead, I thought about it for a moment and answered honestly, "me too." I suggested that we put on coats and boots to take a walk out to the mailbox, just in case anything had been delivered. Not that I thought there would BE any presents out there, but I thought there might be some cards (there were) and that the fresh cold air would perk us up.

As we stepped past the bushes in front of our house, the little white lights on them clicked on -- it seemed magical, as though our steps had alerted the lights that it was time. We walked carefully down the icy driveway (really -- I think it would be possible to ice skate on it) and could see that the door on the mailbox was just slightly open, indicating that at least something had been put into it. Well. We're still in awe of what we found! A package from Natalie and her family that included the incredible digital camera she gave me, and also a perfectly wrapped Lego set for Dean and a music cd and the makings for our own Mexican hot chocolate and a card and letter that left us all just speechless (Ken came down from his nap just as we were opening). "I can't believe something this good just happened," Dean said. Ken and I agreed.

I charged up the battery, read the instructions, and tried a few test photos this morning, including that one up there of some of our snowglobes. Here's Dean with his first working roller coaster construction from the jumbo K-Nex set he'd been wishing for that Santa brought:

I will try not to go completely crazy and posting eleventy million photos with each post, but it won't be easy!

Christmas day was lovely and mellow though different from what we expected; Ken's parents decided that morning not to come because his mom didn't want to come up our stairs (she prefers to walk through our yard and up our back steps, but there's a good 4 feet of snow and ice there because all the snow from the driveway gets plowed into that area). It was too bad -- we'd done a lot to prepare for the day, the meal, all that stuff, but Uncle Bob still came and the 4 of us had a blast. We were able to eat our big meal later than we usually have to (Ken's parents like to have the option of getting back on the road while it's still light out, which means Christmas is normally a marathon for me in order to make it all happen quickly) and play with our toys.

I used to get kind of blue on Christmas day -- all those weeks, months of effort and it goes by in a flash. But I've started instead to think of Christmas as everything that happens all month, before AND after the day, and even today it feels like we're celebrating. I know I am, thanks to Natalie and her family.


Felicia said...

What a wonderful surprise to find in the mailbox! And I so completely agree with you that Christmas is all about the weeks before and the days after the big day. Its a fabulous month long celebration. I'm so glad y'all had a Merry Christmas :)

Natalie said...

I am giggling and glowing with joy... it makes me so happy to know that the postal lag worked out so sweetly, so magically! Oh, yes! Do post eleventy million photos! Infinity More Photos! My guys were so concerned... *has Dean got his Lego bricks yet?* This post has extended my celebration! Thank you.