With everything going on, it hasn't felt like Christmas yet. Our worries have been outweighed by the kindness of those around us, but they still weigh there. It has been six months since Dowlan's last paycheck and unemployment payments don't always come when they should come or go as far as they should go. We are blessed--we have no needs unmet, no bills unpaid and no sacrifices yet called for, but the weight of it all has made this season less merry.
My mother-in-law made a Christmas songbook for Melody a few years ago. It is one of those pre-printed fabric books with stuffed pages. One of the girls chose it for a bedtime story. But before they got in bed for stories, they wanted to check the advent calendar to see how many doors are left. When they realized there were only two, Melody jumped at least a foot in the air and squealed, "Christmas is really going to come!" and then two ecstatic girls hugged each other.
Earlier, the girls eyes widened as they saw wrapped package after package be loaded into the van, followed by bag after bag of baked goods, shoes, jammies and fluffy dresses. They have renamed PennyVann, with her back seat removed and crammed full of gifts. She is now Santa's Sleigh.
Now Dowlan's voice is joined with two tiny voices, singing Silent Night. You just can't beat that song for sweetness. It really does feel like Christmas is here.