Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house
Not a battery was turned on... can't think of a clever rhyme with 'house', but the point is that our children are sitting contentedly by the fire, deeply engaged making origami balloons (Galen) and necklaces (Zekiah), while listening to a home-made CD by their creative uncles and aunts.
They are technically old enough to count, but no questions about who got more, which present was biggest, or why their parents barely got them anything at all. On wrapping night, Sarah and I gathered all the treasures in front of us and wondered if it would work:
Galen - origami paper; hard-cover book of Secret Garden/Little Princess/Little Lord Fauntleroy; yarn to make dishrags
Zekiah - a jar of beads from thrift store necklaces and hemp necklace string; paintbrush
Shared - a $2 wicker treasure chest from the thrift store, filled with thermal socks and a set of 2,000-year-old Chinese terracotta figurines (that Thrift store was amazing!)
At ages 8 and almost 6, they still are wide open to the magic of Christmas. When Santa came to the Young Naturalist Club a few weeks ago, they were a bit perplexed to see him get back in his car to drive away. When we explained that he was just getting back to his sleigh parked out front, they were much relieved, and convinced that they saw the sleigh flying away as we drove home.
They even forsook a final cup of eggnog to be sure there was enough for Santa, and were thrilled to find the next morning the plate of goodies reduced to crumbs, and the eggnog mug emptied with chocolate fingerprints around it. "Santa's a messy eater!"
When the Lewis clan called from Chicago, Uncle Matt pretended to be one of Santa's elves. Putting aside the little knowledge that Uncle Matt does voices, they decided to believe it, and excitedly asked if he knew why Grandma's door was unlocked when they awoke - did Santa come in the door? "That was my cousin Tuk-Tuk who unlocked it" was the satisfying answer.
So as I'm being called for a french toast breakfast, we celebrate the preservation of innocence, of wide-eyed belief, and the thrill of a simple bead-making kit and bamboo puzzle kit. The magic of Christmas has not been buried under a mountain of Taiwanese gadgets. Virginia, Santa is alive and well in the beautiful imaginations of our children.
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