I know about those annoying people. I’m trying really hard not to be one. I’m just going to spill these few jolly things from the shackles of my heart and promise to keep my festive lovin’ soul quiet – until December hits anyhow, and then I’m not promising anything.
“Wait”, Joel says. “I forgot something.” He runs back to the house, and I look in the rearview mirror at Ella – who is accidentally dressed up as Christmas. We share one of those eye-twinkling smiles – the one where she knows something fun is going on but she’s not quite sure what. Joel jumps back into the car with his iPad. “Carols,” he says. “We’ve gotta have carols.”
And I about nearly faint with happiness.
As we drive along, Bing Crosby blaring away, serenading us all with his smooth, silky, soul-filling voice, I say to Joel, “Look at her face. Look at her, Joel.” He turns around, and by the way he smiles I can tell he sees it too. That the sun has about nearly exploded from her eyes. That the way she points her finger in the air as she does her car-seat dance is heart-stoppingly adorable. That the way she is grinning, making her eyes crinkle so much they’re almost closed, is pure joy. I say to him, “That’s why I do these things, you know. That’s what we do it for.” And he looks at me and says, “I know. I get it now. I do.”
We park the car and take the escalator all the way up to the top of the Myer Centre, which everyone knows is where magic is hidden. Santa is there, and Santa’s little elf helpers, but the best part is a big Christmas coal train which Ella rides, oh I don’t know, six times. “More,” she says, every time it stops, and really, who are we to say no?
We take our excited girl and head down to the Christmas window displays. They get me every year. Every year I stare at them, drinking them in, feeling all magic and wonder-filled.
And I can tell by the look on her face that’s how they make her feel, too.
Cue: Snow globe.
Our first holiday decoration accidentally making its way to our shelf. “Bubble!” Ella says. And I say, “Close enough, sweetie.” Christmas snow globes are the surest way to get your holiday blood pumping. Every time I look at it, it makes me happy.
Cue: Ella’s tree ornament of the year — found.
For all the sixty-three thousand times she asked me to put shoes on her shoe-lovin’ feet. By far, her greatest 2013 obsession.
Okay. I’m done.
Christmas lid back on.
I’m not sure if it was the aforementioned activities, which I am unfortunately not able to repeat, but from the very minute it started, our weekend was full to the brim of the best kind of stuff. We were on a roll, totally high on how good it was to be inside this little family of ours.
A few of our weekend happies:
Long bubble baths, lots of squealing, and big huge bubble beards.
Market mornings full of life, bare feet, and good coffee.
An afternoon by the dam, celebrating my brother’s birthday.
Rummaging for thrift shop treasures, only to find a pile of Enid Blyton gems staring up at me, begging to be part of our family.
Tea parties and dress ups while daddy is at work for the morning, and I remember again just how much I love having a girl.
Toe painting and side-of-the-road flower picking and dinner by the water and late night dancing and a lighting storm, watched from our neighbour’s front deck, and a dozen other things I didn’t photograph, only with my mind. And now we start the week fresh and new, ready to fill its pages with more life and more moments to look upon and think, These are the days.
As Matt Corby sings —
Turn around, put it down and see,
That this is really the place to be-e-ee.
Now go buy yourself a snow globe. I promise it will make you happy too.
Oops, that picture just snuck in there.