Keepin’ the Magic Alive

Merry Christmas Eve! Oh, wait. It’s past midnight, so I guess it’s Merry Christmas. Cute W and I just got done with setting up for the morning. So you’re my wind-down time.

Keeping things magical has continued to be a bit of a challenge. Last night the girls were tucked away in bed, Cute W was at a neighbor’s house watching football, and I was hovering over the stove preparing a food item that involved stirring constantly while listening to an audiobook. More on the “stir constantly” dish later, but for my purposes tonight, just know that I was in the cooking zone, when suddenly I heard the pitter-patter of feet, because J was suffering from Christmas Onset Insomnia. Well, needless to say, I’d once again moved Holly the Elf early in an effort to avoid skipping the move entirely. Holly was having a fine ol’ time in the corner of the dining room, noshing on a biscotti and making a mess of it. Cute, but in plain sight for anyone coming downstairs.

I abandoned my “stir constantly” dish and lunged from the kitchen to the dining room, dislodging my audiobook and headphones in the process. Some piece or other of them clattered to the floor while I spun around and grabbed a blanket off the living room sofa (good thing my house is so small!) so that I could hold it out as if I were folding it when actually I was just blocking the view toward Holly. Clever me! Then I ushered J upstairs.

Late this afternoon (Christmas Eve afternoon, I should say), J suddenly said, “Oh! I forgot! I need to make stockings for Isis and Madison!” Honestly, I’d been hoping that she’d blow this off. In the past J has made a stocking for Isis, and I even have a spare stocking that I’ll pull out for her, mostly–and I’ll admit that this is evil–because the rest of our stockings are so beautiful that the homemade construction-paper-and-staples jobs that J has created in the past just don’t fit into my artistic vision. Isis regularly gets a pet store gift card from her cat-loving Grandma, and we generally get her something. But I’d blown off Madison entirely. Madison is a goldfish. I frequently forget that this fish lives in the house at all. So J made this stocking and I started wracking my brain, trying to remember if I had some random fish accessory tucked in a closet. Nope. Then, J composed a note to Santa which reminded him that it was “Madison’s first Christmas and I hope she enjoys it!” Crap! Crap-crap-crap. So I was at Target at 9 pm on Christmas Eve, where there was 1) fish food, but no other fish accessories whatsoever, 2) more people and especially more children than I’d anticipated, and less holiday cheer among them, and 3) some wintry gel-clings, which, I decided, were exactly the sort of tank decor that Madison’s been pining for, when she hasn’t been pining for more food. Well, I don’t know, but J likes gel clings.

There was other drama today–J couldn’t choose a church outfit and almost let her Ruin Her Life and M was downright snarky in the Santa letter–but we did manage to get in our annual screening of  It’s A Wonderful Life, which had me streaming tears because, you know, it is.

Merry Christmas!

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