Making A List, Checking It Twice

Oh, the elving that occurs this week, in these final days before Christmas! The list grows, the to-dos mount. Baking, shopping, wrapping, preparing. You know.

And yet, among all of the checklists and pending tasks and daily demands of life with three young children, I am enjoying the merriment of this special week: the wide-eyed faces of my little ones as I tell them bedtime stories of my childhood Christmases; the warmth of having Daddy home with us away from work for several days; the after-dinner walks on our city sidewalks admiring the festive lights of our neighbors; the anticipation of the "shortest day" and the returning light of the Winter Solstice; the skating and the singing and the Santa sighting--the magic, pure magic, of this time of the year.

During these busy and full days, it takes extra effort, it seems, to be mindful of the joys of the season, to not get so bogged-down with holiday obligations that I forget to see this time through the eyes of my children, a time filled with togetherness and possibility.

Watching my little ones, I wonder how much longer the allure of Santa will endure, how much longer the Christmas stories we read will be more fact than fiction. Surely this time of year will always be special, but oh how magical it is right now.

So as the to-do list lengthens and the preparations continue, I am holding on to the right now: this cherished season that is merry, magical, momentary. Just like childhood.