Yes. I know it's Christmas Eve. I know tomorrow is the big day worldwide. For me though, it's another day.
My Christmas was December 3rd, with a dinner at my dad's with all my brothers. My Christmas was Dec. 20th for snacks and dirty Santa with all of my grown children and my grandchildren and my Mom and Poppy. Though the space was tight, it was crowded with love and warmth. It wasn't uncomfortable crowdedness, but that familial safe tightness, like puppies tucked tightly together in a box.
And Christmas was tonight, December 24th, with my family, with my nephew the soldier, with my brothers, wives, daughter-in-laws, grandchildren, great grandchildren...all of us crammed in together with smiles and laughter and hugs chinking in the cracks.
On the way home my husband asked: "Are you okay that I didn't get you anything?"
Oh- I am so okay with that. We were able to get small gifts for the loved ones and watch little ones open toys. We watched our first grandchild tear the paper on his tugboat. We hugged a long-missed soldier tightly, knowing he would again leave us to go to the other side of the country. I ate my brother's orange fluff and my sister-in-laws fudge. I brought home pumpkin rolls and peanut butter balls. I watched Mom, with her face flushed, flurry around the kitchen and serve food, happy to be with her children again.
"Honey, I got so much this year. I don't want another thing."
And I meant it. What could a person buy me that I don't have? Could you buy priceless treasures of family? Can you buy a smile or pay for a joke from a brother? Can you put a price on that soldier's hug? Or the look on his mom's face at having him home? Can I sell the memory of Zoe's smile at her giant Dora book or Constance's face when she opened her leopard pocketbook? What would I tag the worth of hearing Constance's quiet whispered 'Thank you' ? I'm a new mamaw to her too and that starting bond was priceless. She picked me a clover flower. That will be a cherished memory of our first Christmas together.
"Yes, honey. I am fine that you didn't get me anything (although he gives me everything). I already have it all."