The tree is finally decorated, after we pulled off every strand of light and replaced them all with new strands. This involved surprisingly little cursing. The stockings, meanwhile, are hung by the chimney with care. The Christmas ham has been purchased, along with all the other goodies we’ll snack on throughout the day tomorrow, and especially while crowding around the TV to watch White Christmas.
We are about ten ornaments behind on our Advent Jesse Tree, because we are bad parents. On the other hand, all this decorating and food purchasing took place without any of the children being placed in one of those Salvation Army buckets. I’m surprised that doesn’t ever happen, though perhaps we are the only parents foolish enough to take all of our children to Wal-Mart on Christmas Eve eve.
Tonight we will go to our church’s Christmas Eve service, conveniently scheduled smack-dab at dinner time. Afterwards we’ll eat PB&Js while we drive around looking at Christmas lights. Then it’s home for pajamas, a bedtime reading of The Night Before Christmas, and then off to bed for everyone but me and the Wife, who will snuggle up beneath Christmas lights and watch Christmas Vacation.
There’s probably a more organized way to do it, and certainly a more reverent way. For now, at least, this is our way, and it leaves me with that deep-in-the-belly sense of thankfulness that you either know or, sadly, don’t know. I hope you know it, or something like it.