Christmas Tree: Before
Raj got sick right after Thanksgiving, and the rest of us soon followed. I was the last to succumb, and last Tuesday I spent the entire day in bed. It’s the first time I’ve been that sick in quite a while, and I was amazed at how much my kids had grown up. They got themselves lunch. They brought me water and soda crackers. They got themselves dinner, and brought me some dinner in bed too. They fed my pets. And they mediated their own disputes. Somewhere along the line it’s happened: I am no longer parenting toddlers! They’re not quite adults yet, but they’re competent little people with real skillz. Hurrah for them, and hurrah for me!
I’m still kind of dragging around the house coughing and in need of naps, but fortunately I live in Florida and can go outside, and even lie out on the lawn in the sun. Despite the weather, which remains stubbornly nice, I was pleasantly surprised the other day to notice that maybe fall really will play out here after all. Our trees are definitely losing their leaves. The leaves are only an inch long, so I’m not sure about the feasibility of raking, let alone making huge piles to jump in, but they do crunch a little when you walk on them in the driveway.
We also got out our Christmas decorations today. I am not one of those people who has special Christmas towels, sheets, curtains, dishes and soap dispensers. It’s hard to lug around too much stuff you’re only going to use once a year when you move as often as we do. We got out the Advent Calendar (and opened the first three days. I can never manage to get it out on the right day), hung our stockings in the window, since in this house we don’t have a fireplace, and moved the furniture around to accommodate the tree we will be getting tomorrow:
Nothing quite brings our habitual nomadism to my mind quite like the holidays. In almost nine years of marriage, we’ve never spent two Christmases in the same house. So we have lots of memories, but relatively few traditions. We make Christmas treats for our neighbors. We have pineapple bacon wraps on Christmas Eve. I put gigantic gingerbread cookies in the children’s stockings. And my kids love to make presents. Lots and lots of presents. Axa already has twelve presents wrapped and ready to go under the tree that we haven’t gotten yet.