It’s a Wonderful Life

It’s Christmas Eve afternoon and my four-year-old just opened a present. I did not give him permission to do this. He then walked across the freshly mopped floor with slushy boots, after which he woke the baby from the only nap that he will get the rest of this busy day by opening and slamming baby’s door half a dozen times.

I yelled.

And then I freaked out.

Nice job, momma, on keeping the spirit of peace and love alive on Christmas Eve.

On another note, I learned this afternoon that Jack can, with his bare hands open that impossible sort of toy packaging for which Jeff and I require sharp, pointy tools. He freed Charlie’s toy binoculars from their plastic cocoon in just a matter of seconds.

Wow, Jacky.  Just, wow.


We are home now from the festivities, and the children are quiet, all snug in their beds.

Jack enjoyed thoroughly vacuuming both of the Grandma’s houses we visited this evening.

The rest of us enjoyed turkey, the trimmings, and pies, followed by an eclectic variety show. The annual reading of the family predictions by my two younger sisters foretold that 2013 is the year when I will “decide to dress like a hipster and buy some nerd glasses,” while Jeff will “edit and compile a viral video of the greatest clips from the Jack Cam.”

We, meaning Jeff and I plus the boys, wowed the audience with a kazoo rendition of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Later, after a venue change, we sat around the Christmas tree as Jeff’s grandparents distributed gifts to each of their twenty-two great-grandchildren, including handmade, pieced “quillows” for each child. It is essentially a quilt which folds up nicely into an attached fabric bag with handles, which can be conveniently carried places, and which also makes a nice pillow in a pinch. Grandma S’s quillows are pieced from vintage fabric pieces she has accumulated through decades of sewing projects. Pretty much, they are totally rad.

Grandma S. is 85 and suffered a fall this year, where she fractured a few vertebrae in her neck. Her recovery was long and painful, and in her homebound days, she stitched and tied twenty-two quillows to “take her mind off things.” Grandpa, aged 90, helped her finish them up, assisting with the quilt-tying.

Their gift to my boys is a tender offering. It is bittersweet because they are frail and often in pain, yet Grandma and Grandpa still devoted countless hours to handcrafting quilts to wrap around their littlest loved ones.

They gave of themselves, which is the best kind of gift.

Merry Christmas, friends.

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