The Good Stuff

Our holidays were full of good stuff this year-- the kind you can't quantify or hold in your hands. The stuff that doesn't make you cringe when the credit card bill rolls in or demand batteries in a size that you most certainly do not have. The things that made our Christmas so wonderful, as Dr. Seuss put it, didn't come from a store.

We shared delicious food with friends who joined us on Christmas Eve and had a joyful sing-along around our piano. My husband, who was not raised celebrating Christmas, happily indulged all of our musical requests.

Vivi and I packed up a large box of food for our local food bank and she wrapped up some of her toys to give to her baby sisters. She is beginning to understand that when we give to others, we receive much in return.

My husband and I got to see Santa Claus through our daughter's eyes and were pleased to hear Vivi say, "That Santa is a nice guy. I will write him a thank you note for my scooter." (A scooter that cost us $15 on Craig's List, by the way.)

We did not stress out about how our holiday should be and enjoyed leftovers for our Christmas meal. I accepted that three-eyed and one-armed gingerbread men were just fine because my daughter made them. In fact, I think most of the calories we've consumed the last few days came from cookies.

We stayed in our pajamas and played Sorry and Candyland and Chutes and Ladders and dominoes. Sometimes I even won.

But the sweetest, loveliest gift of all was one that was not given to me. It was a card my husband gave to Vivi. He wrote how much he loved her and what a joy she is to him. The card does not mean much to her now but I'm tucking it away because I suspect that one day she will treasure it as much as I do.

So as the New Year approaches, I'll be holding on to these memories and wishing you and yours all the good stuff this holiday season.


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