The presents have been bought and wrapped. Most of them. I hope FedEx pulls through. The meal is planned. Most of it. We haven’t hung the ornaments on the tree. We wish the girls were here already, in their Christmas pajamas. Right now.
I ask my husband, “Are you sure we have a special gift for each one?”
He’s somewhere else. He’s just dragged 30 years of decorations from the attic. He is looking for the star. But when he comes downstairs, he’s wearing some sort of Viking helmet that he found up there. It has blond braids hanging on each side of his smile, and it’s two sizes too small for his Nordic head. Apparently, he found the Halloween decorations, too. Don’t let your husband go up in the attic alone. I’m just sayin’…
He asks me if I want to dance. Umm…
I think the toilet is leaking, I tell him. And has the burnt-out light bulb been taken care of? Is the porch swept? I’m so romantic like that. But it doesn’t bother him much. He knows me. He looks at me with his certain, confident look. The one that always gets me. He wants to dance. I accept his hand and whisper, “What I really mean is, how do we love everyone enough so that they know exactly how Christmas should feel?”
I’m 100% certain I didn’t get everything done at work today. I know it’s going to sneak up on me. I need to stop thinking about it. The dust moats show up in the fading sun. The laundry isn’t done. I have a hunch that no one fed the chickens or fish this morning. Also, how can we be missing 8 forks? And where exactly IS the star? Does this happen to anyone else?
I rest my head on my husband’s shoulder. He’s looking for the star, too.
I show him a book that I’ve pulled off the shelf. It still has a bow on it, from Magdalen’s wedding, from Heather’s wedding. And for a moment, we remind ourselves of the real story. It’s in an old, worn book that’s been in our family for generations. My husband took it to school. I read the same one. I think we passed a little of the story along to our girls.
Our book isn’t perfect. It looks like a puppy chewed on the corner of it. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Merry Christmas. With love,
Eric and Carolyn