Christmas. It came with so much excitement. The second Saturday in December a large bushy fir tree was brought into the house. With it came all the smells of the season. Aimee-Jane was estatic. She couldn’t be contained. She was joy and thrill and energy personified. It bubbled from every part of her. There were candy canes and ornaments that glittered and the tinsel shimmering by the light of the homemade brown candles that Grandma had lit in the sconces on the wall. There were so many sparkling lights and soon the whole house sparkled as Aimee-Jane traveled eagerly here and there with bits of tinsel and glitter following her, attached to those tiny busy feet. Each day became a holiday as Aimee-Jane woke and found that the Christmas tree needed to be lit and every evening was eagerly to be looked forward too when a little girl would sit in wide eyed wonder on Papa’s lap and gaze at the lighted eaves out the window and jabber, nearly endlessly, about their “shine”.
Merry travels commenced as we went to see dear friends in Sisters for a few days. Snowy passes and icy roads made for quite the adventure. Aimee-Jane woke along the way and was all wonderment. Her first ever snow! New friends were made and the practice of falling asleep in a new house with new friends was almost more than could be born by one so young and full of curiosity. Simply too much excitement! We slept in a fabulous bedroom with a perfect view of the mountains and a log bed that was apparently the BEST EVER to climb onto and bounce on. We were fed all kinds of amazing food and scrumptious treats and the whole experience was such a sweet one!! Miranda and Alan if you read this, we love you so much and thanks for having us!!! One afternoon we were able to go for a walk in the snow. A first walk for Aimee-Jane! She was bundled in camo and tiny furry boots and off we went. The going was a little timid at first, but once she got the hang of it it was basically full speed ahead. At one point she dove in head first and came back up with the cutest snowy nose I have ever seen.
A few days later we were “over the river and through the woods, to grandmother Starr’s we go.” There were all kinds of fun things awaiting there… Aimee-Jane went for her first horseback ride. She put up with it for about seven and a half minutes and then started to sob as though the world might end! I pulled her down and held her close while she glared at the horse suspiciously.
She got to have lovely long baths every night given by Gramma Starr and then romped on the big bed with her cousin Kellen whom she soon discovered was quite the best of pals. There was a particular very large, white cat that they both doted on and followed everywhere they could. You really have to hand it to that cat. It was tirelessly patient and pleasant the entire time.
Christmas Eve arrived with a flurry of activity. Aimee-Jane adored it. She helped me scrub the floors and clean the toilets and sinks. She bustled around with a duster and followed me and Gramma around as we moved furniture and rugs to vacuum. That evening half of the aunts and uncles and cousins arrived and all the ladies gathered in the kitchen to start the cooking. A prefeast (Is that a thing?) was laid out on the table amidst sprays of cedar and spruce and the munching commenced. There was so much laughing and talking. Aimee-Jane was everywhere with her Jack and Johnny and so excited that she couldn’t seem to sit still long enough for even a cracker! Precious little eating was accomplished I'm afraid to say! As bed time got closer it was finally time to open Christmas eve boxes. Oh the thrill. In Aimee-Janes box was the Cat in the Hat (OH JOY for we love DR. Suess), but as soon as the book was safely out of the box and set in Mama’s lap, well then it was best to be about the business of helping everybody else open their box, for that IS what you do, is it not??? The cousins mostly thought not, but Papa was ok with sharing his unwrapping privelages.
Once this bit of excitement was over, baths had happened, and tiny tots had found their way into flannel Christmas Jammies it was time to wind down for bed. It is hard when you are small, to wind down. Quite hard in fact. Especially on Christmas Eve, when so much excitement, in the form of all things merry, awaits you on just the other side of the night. A Christmas movie was watched, stories were read and finally little eyes closed and little bodies lay snuggled about the house just as Papa and Gramma slipped the scrumptiously dressed turkey into the oven about midnight.
The next morning arrived with sleepy parents, breakfast casseroles, cranberry Christmas cake and the beautiful blue eyed cousins. There was also a sparkling tree in the corner that had at some point become surrounded with tempting parcels. To try and describe the excitement would be impossible. Aimee-Jane spotted what she knew simply MUST be hers, right away… A tiny red Radio Flyer Trycycle. Oh the thrill. She sat patiently on my lap for only a few moments and then was off scooting that trike about for the next ten minutes. I would like to say that she paid attention to her other gifts, but honestly I could really only get her to open about one other. The rest of the time she was oohing and ahhing over someone else’s new toy or back on that trike chattering happily away as she scooted all over the dining room and kitchen.
The rest of the day was the best. So much laughing and the sounds of all the beautiful babies as they played with their new toys (ok there might have been a squabble in there too, now and then). The guys all sat at the table playing new board games and discussing politics and solving the worlds problems, in no particular order. A foot ball game had been planned for the afternoon but after a feast had been enjoyed and every one was sitting about feeling gloriously full and contented it was too difficult to even imagine running about in the field and the game was forgotten for this year. Little ones went to sleep in the big bed at the top of the stairs or toppled onto pallets on the floor for some much needed rest and the rest of us… well… lets be honest. We did the dishes, then we sat down and said to ourselves, let there be pie. And there was. Way too many different kinds. Oh and it was a happy Christmas! As the evening wore down and we all lingered not wanting it to end we were reminded how blessed we are to have each other and to have a Savior that came to this Earth for us! And I missed Andy as I always do on the holidays, especially when it seems as though he is missing the tiny blonde haired, sea eyed child, that is so much him, experiencing all the joy and the excitement of Christmas. Then I remember where he is and to Whom he belongs and I know he isn’t missing a thing. Merry Christmas everyone from us to you!
|Me and the sisters and some of the babies :)|