Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Present

This is the second in a series of three

We are three in our family.  We are a tight little trio, we stick together, we eat together, we laugh together and play together.  At Christmas, we have developed our own traditions.  We bake shortbread cookies, we can apple pie filling, and have been known to leave all the gift wrapping until the very last minute.  (like this year...)  Then, we have the obligatory fight about something insignificant to relieve the stress (no hard feelings sweetie :))  We hang our stockings on Christmas Eve, we don't have a fireplace but they go in the dining room and Santa has always been able to find them ;).  I have also insisted on continuing traditions I had as a child.  We put out cookies, brown sugar and raisins for Santa and his reindeer, and no one opens presents until everyone is awake.  (That means J and I make daddy get up extra early, he's not really a morning person.)

This year was J's first at at school.  So I experienced my first Christmas concert as a parent.  Let me tell you, adults become crazy when their kid is on stage singing a Christmas song!  I was astounded at how grown men and women turn into these waving, crying, slobbering globs of gush and willing to stampede over others (who are all there for the same reason) to snap a photo and take a video.  Part of me gets it because I feel the exact same way about my little man, but I had the decency to take it to the back of the room and not stand in front of or almost on top of others to get to see my baby.  I actually had to move because someone was standing in front of me sitting in my chair.  I gave them a small piece of my mind and booted it to the back corner of the room where I had a clear sight line to my guy.  He found me in the crowd, his whole face lit up, and he blew me kisses.  So, yep, I turned into a marshmallow, wiped away my tears and imprinted the moment into my brain.  I'll always wish I was able to get a video, but I'm pretty sure I won't forget this.  His class sang Jingle Bells and Old Toy Train.  If I play the latter for him, he will still sing and do the signs the teachers taught them.  He was so proud because he practiced so hard at school and he remembered them all.

I can't wait to see the look on J's face this year when he comes downstairs on Christmas Morning.  He is so excited, we have put some family gifts under the tree and you can just see how the anticipation is building.  He was a bit disappointed they weren't for him, but it just adds another layer of excitement.  He opened the last door on his Advent calendar and was dancing afterwards because he knows Santa is coming tonight.  Our Christmas Eve will be quiet this year, just the three of us, at home, together.  It's all I can ask for really.

I will leave you with my favourite Christmas poem.  I will read it to my little man tonight before bed.  Hope he has visions of sugar plums. 
'Twas the Night Before Christmas  

(or A Visit from St. Nicholas) by Clement Clarke Moore (1823)

  'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his courses they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:
"Now Dasher! Now Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
so up to the house-top the courses they flew,
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes--how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, 'ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

A Brief Note about the Author and the Poem
Clement Clarke Moore's famous poem, which he named "A Visit From St. Nicholas," was published for the first time on December 23, 1823 by a New York newspaper, the Sentinel. Since then, the poem has been reprinted, translated into innumerable languages and circulated throughout the world. 

1 comment:

  1. Alice had her first Christmas. Concert on Thursday too. It was so cute! I can't get over the number of songs they had to remember, but they did. Later the JK and SK put on a play. Adorable! I love watching everyone's kids almost as much as my own. So many little personalities!