At first, helping my mom decorate for Christmas surprised me with how much it made me miss my own Christmas decorations. And not just the decorations, but putting them out with Chris. We’ve missed every other holiday before, but not this one.
I miss Chris’ insistence that the live Christmas tree be purchased and set up no later than the day after Thanksgiving. I miss looking at lights together. I miss our kokeshi nativity from Japan and the seashell nativity from Florida. You know: just missing life together.
Then I made a charming discovery. A small box with the toilet paper role nativity we made as kids: Googly-eyes, yarn hair, gold paper harps and treasures, clothespin sheep and Jesus in a Popsicle stick manger.
This is why we came home for Christmas, when we could celebrate Christ’s birth anywhere. Beneath Chris’ absence this year, here are layers and layers of joy, knit each year and heaped together, a family quilt of warmth and love and memories.
Thank you for having us, Mama and Daddy. We miss you, Chris. And just one more day until I get to see Hannah and her family, with Simon’s family on their heels! It’s going to be a very happy Christmas!
“That is a dumb book. Norman ate all the chocolate bells. I’m angry about that.”
—Isaac’s independent assessment of “12 Bells for Santa”
I think we have a little book critic on our hands.