Friday, December 11, 2009
Christmas, Part One
The in-laws have arrived, and Christmas is officially underway at our house. The tree is up, the railings and banisters are wrapped in Christmas lights, the TV is playing an endless stream of holiday specials, and grandma and grandpa came bearing a suitcase full of gifts, which they have been doling out a little at a time to keep these two girls excited and entertained. Together they’ve made potholders, played princess bingo, done kitten puzzles, and tomorrow they’re tackling a gingerbread house. As if that wasn’t enough, their suitcase is still full of pretty and sparkly clothes for the girls to be wrapped and put under the tree, and today the grandparents took them toy shopping. While String Bean led them around pointing out everything she wanted (in short, everything, although everything purple or decorated in glitter or sparkles ranked just a little higher on her wish list), and Peanut drifted from display to display, lingering a moment longer on some items than on others, their grandma strolled behind them and put things into the shopping cart, which their grandpa then took up front to pay for and stow in the car. It’s funny to think that the girls saw every item they’re getting for Christmas, hand-picked each thing, and yet have no idea what exactly came home with us, overwhelmed as they were by all of the possibilities in the store. We escaped from toy-store over-stimulation just as the girls were beginning to crash, got them home and fed and down for the naps they didn’t take, and then, while the in-laws wrapped gifts and monitored the restless non-nappers, I got out for a couple of hours of writing time while the rain poured down outside and a mocha warmed me up inside. So, that’s part one of my Christmas, as well. There’s nothing like leaving rambunctious kids behind, getting to work on the next chapter of your novel-in-progress, with a hot cup of coffee, surrounded by finals-stressed college students, and getting some uninterrupted stress-free time for yourself.