I love the twelve days of Christmas. Even though the world counts the 12 days as the previous days to Christmas, in truth, the 12 days start on Christmas day, or the First Day of Christmas. Usually my days before the 25th are packed with activities, shopping, cooking, sending letters and packages… The list could go on forever, and it’s no wonder by Christmas Eve I have to drag myself to get things done. In fact, Christmas Eve I woke up late, and without even having breakfast or lunch, I cooked all day, cleaned the house, attended a very sick 2 year-old and entertained family. After that, we drove to my mother’s (for some reason she won’t come to our house) to have the midnight toast with her and my father (who was already in bed, and didn’t get up to say Merry Christmas). After we went back home, I still had to wrap presents! But in spite of the exhaustion, and the craziness, Jeff and I were SO excited, running around the house getting everything ready for Santa’s visit, setting cookies that we later had to eat to simulate Santa’s eating them, cleaning the playroom, so he could see we had kept good care of last year toys, kissing even the dogs good night, because Santa was coming! It’s strange, being the parents we still get so excited about Santa Claus, talking bout him as if he were real, hiding the several letters the kids leave out for him. And I don’t feel we are deceiving our children. Yes, we are the ones buying the presents and putting them under the tree, but the spirit of Santa, the spirit of giving, is so real, so present in our lives, that we get carried away, and for a night, we become children again.
Today is the third day of Christmas, and formerly, in Christianity, the period from Christmas Day until the Epiphany (Three Kings) was considered a secret time, the most magical period of the year. Today I had a magical moment. We went to the movies, all except my little Chubbers, who stayed with our kind neighbors, and after I picked her up, and prepared her for bed, I settled down in the rocking chair. I asked her what she wanted, and she only patted my chest and gave me a mischievous look. I nursed her, with Enya singing her Winter songs in the background, highlighted by the soft sighs of my sleeping Cangri. I nursed my big baby, and then the dogs started barking.
Jeff came running to the room saying excitedly, “There are deers in our front yard!!!!” and I looked out of the window and saw them, the silhouette of three magnificent deer, walking on the white street, illuminated by our Christmas lights and the moonlight. “They’re Santa’s deer!” Jeff said, and the children oohed and ahed and Swan asked me what they were doing. “They’re hungry. They’re looking for food,” I said. Chubbers looked at me matter-of-factly and told the deer, in her hoarse sleepy little voice, “Wait! We have Lucky Charms!!!”
We all laughed, and Jeff and the older kids went downstairs to play with their puppets, and I went back to the rocking chair, my baby who hummed “Oh Emmanuel” while she tried to nurse. And I felt peace, and contentment. Our king is born, and I felt his peace tonight.