Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Christmas Miracle

Every town has the Christmas house. The one with the extra power supply. The one that lights up the night like a Yuletide beacon. In our town, for many years, we called this house, simply, 'The Griswalds." (A nod to "Christmas Vacation.) However, this year when we took Sophie to see this spectacle, this veritable regurgitation of electric holiday madness, she looked at it in awe and said, "It's a Christmas Miracle!" So now, of course, the Griswalds have been renamed "The Christmas Miracle House."

Truth be told, I'm a bit of a Scrooge. However, reflecting last night on possible blog fodder, I realized that I have actually experienced one or two Christmas miracles, both small and large, of my own. Here is my favorite small miracle, and my favorite big one.

The Miracle of the Cheeseball
Last Christmas, just as Mand was getting ready to move, she and I and the kids were decorating Christmas cookies. We had Christmas music playing, the tree was lit, and the things were down right festive. Either she or I said "Now all we need is Mom's cheeseball." Now--said cheeseball is a little odd--major ingredients being shredded corned beef and Worcestershire sauce--but it's an acquired taste, we're all crazy about it, and it just tastes like Christmas to us. Not one minute after making our Christmas cheese wish, there came a knock on the door. It was a young lad--about eight or 10. Low and behold he was selling CHEESEBALLS! To raise money for some worthy cause or another, and not only were they cheeseballs, they were the exact same recipe my mom uses! Of course we bought one, devoured it, and thus ends the miracle of the cheeseball.

The Miracle of Sophie
I found out I was pregnant with Soph right before Christmas. Right before this time, I had been doing tons of yoga, and was taking a meditation class. I was just beginning to align my spirituality, but was still struggling heavily with many issues. I decided that I was ready for a teacher, and began sending energy into the universe (Damn. When I type that, it sounds down right floopy.) to send me one. I was also sending out that I was ready to start living my life in the moment--to find some gratitude--to connect with something bigger than myself. Now I only realized this a few weeks ago, but very very shortly after this experience, I got knocked up. I wouldn't call Soph a mistake--but she certainly wasn't a plan. During the last several days, I've realized that Sophie is the teacher I asked for, and that she is teaching me all of the things I truly wanted to learn.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Yesterday I was PISSED! E had dumped out my big box of Christmas decorations in our filthy disgusting laundry room, apparently some months ago, to use the box for a laundry basket. My mom was over, and I was telling her that I was MAD as HELL! Sophie heard me, and said, "Mom, Christmas isn't mad. It's magic!"

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
I really feel, now that she's 3 and really getting this Christmas thing, that I have to go all out this year, and it's just not my bag. I put lights up outside, have the tree up, and today am going to deck various other halls, but I feel more like I'm doing it out of duty than desire.


lonna said...

I love that cheese ball story.

When I was reading about your asking for a teacher, I thought, "Boy she sure got one in Sophie", and then you said that yourself.

We don't really do Christmas around here much either. If Ethan and I are together without family we don't even really do anything except maybe make a nice meal. I want Dermot to have nice Christmas memories, so eventually we'll have to do more, but this year he's still too young. I think that I may put some ribbon around our front columns and maybe look for some more clings, but that's about it. Christmas decorations to me are all about the penguins.

OldMotherHubbardSharesAll said...

Here goes GRANDMA meddling again but I would just ADD Soph's room to the list by letting her decide where to hang some lights or whatever and then next year add another room and then another and about the time you have stuff for every room you can just have her do it ALL!!!!!!!

I've always gone WAY out for Christmas but last year I sent each of the kids some of my Christmas stuff that they picked out or made over the years and this year I'm back to a tree and that's about it (AND I LIKE IT - I REALLY REALLY LIKE IT!)

NME said...

Damn. That Sophie as your teacher bit had me damn near choked up. She is indeed a Christmas miracle.

I can say without having to think hard about it that noone has ever come to my door selling cheeseballs. Or any cheeese product. Is that a Utah thang?

I'm not big into decorating either. I like a tree - but that is about it. Maybe if I beef up the decorations a little each year it won't seem like such an expense. This year I am concentrating on plastic ornaments hung on strings to replace our glass balls on hooks. Yup. I am babyproofing the damn tree.

Kat said...

What about only decorating with things that Sophie wants to use and having her help? You could make home made decorations, snowflakes, reindeer candy canes, popcorn strands, a gingerbread house, stuff like that. Then it's not a chore, it's a fun experience with your daughter. Nobody remembers the decorations, only the stories and experiences surrounding them.

The magic of Christmas is that it doesn't have to be traditional or impressive to anyone but you.

shawnak said...

Man, out of the mouths of babes! And Sophie had me all choked up with this one! It really put my own scroogeness into perspective. she's right, Christmas isn't about mad! She's very wise for her years, what a lucky mom you are!

patrice said...

sophie is so cute. I'm glad you put your floopiness out into the universe and got knocked up.

I like decorating for christmas, but things always just look cluttered afterwards. I finally realized that I have to take some of my knick-knacks DOWN before I put other shit up. duh.

I agree with old mother hubbard and the others that say start small and work up, and let sophie direct you as to what makes her feel festive. maybe she doesn't even really care that much.

amandak said...

Aah, the miracle of the cheeseball. I'm glad you posted about that one. We will definitely have cheeseball at MY house for christmas, don't worry. I may even start with my baking and such next week, to get a head start. Oh, who am I kidding.

KATIEmagic said...

What a wonderful realization about the lovely Sophie.

Jen O. said...

I vacillate between wanting kids and not wanting them. Reading about Sophie always pushes me toward the side of yes.

Kodi said...

That precious girl. It's always nice to see the holidays through the eyes of our children. I was telling Ken last night that when Kiri moves out of the house in 4 or 5 years, I'm not decorating anymore.

grody jo-dee said...

we have a griswald/christmas miracle house too. they have all these obnoxious decorations (read: NOT tasteful), and it includes a giant blow-up winnie the pooh. we passed the house the other night, and pooh had taken a dive face first in the yard (i guess he blew over). g. sees pooh and says, "mommy, pooh's taking a nap!" i think, from the looks of things, pooh's "nap" may be permanent.