This is what the underneath of our tree looks like these days:
E and Z are in their mode of wrapping up random things and giving them as presents. They've done this every year since they've been old enough to not eat wrapping paper. M wrapped up a couple of his old things as real presents for his brothers, and because none of them could wait, E and Z opened them almost right away--a small radio (which the two of them had been fighting over earlier: "It's not fair that M has two radios and I don't have any!") for Z and a book of rocks and minerals for E. I was too busy doing other things to butt in with a control-freaky "don't you want to wait and open them on Christmas?" and both boys were thrilled with their gifts. Magic.
The other night I pulled into our driveway at the end of the day, grumbling inward about kids not putting on their seat-belts when they get into the car and wondering what to make for dinner and thinking about my arm-long to-do list; when I swung by the big open field and turned into the woods Z saw the stars coming out in the dark sky out his side window and started to recite, "Star light, star bright, first star I see tonight..." My mind flashed to this post by Jaimie about magic, and it struck me that the magic is there, we just have to be receptive to it (which is basically what Jaimie said, only I missed the point when I read it the first time).
So last night, while M was at guitar, E and Z and I started rolling out another batch of cookies (chocolate gingerbread this time), and I put the Chipmunks Christmas album on the turn table. E handed me back his apron and went to sit with his ear to the speaker so he could hear every chipmunky word, then, when the record was over, he sat counting his money (he's my second Scrooge child) and looking at his new rocks and minerals book singing, "Deck the halls with jolly!"
I listened with one ear, while Z and I cut out gingerbread boys, girls and babies and also squirrels, acorns and oak leaves (because we never made any fall cookies) and thought about magic and thought, yes, these halls are decked with jolly. If I only stop grumbling long enough to feel it.
Don't forget to enter my giveaway for the Christmas in Scandinavia book!