It was my goal to keep Christmas more focused on a little baby in a manger than stuff. I failed. But I hope that-- amidst the Santa visits, princess costumes, Bitty Baby paraphenlia, glittery bows and unending stream of presents-- we imparted the true meaning of all the festivities to Elle. Did she sing Happy Birthday to Jesus with quite the same enthusiasm as she ripped santa-clad paper off boxes stuffed with... well... stuff? Nope. But hopefully one day she'll realize that the shiniest, glitteriest, most sparkling gift we'll ever receive came in the form of a baby lying in a manger in Bethlehem. That God loved us so much he sent his Son to live among us. As I rocked E Christmas night, I thought about Mary doing the same with her little one, only he was the Son of God. And as I laughed at Elle's rendition of Joy to the World ("Heaven and manger sing"), I thought of her smiling at His toddler antics. And I couldn't quite decide if Mary had to deal with tantrums...
Other secondary lessons of the season:
1. Family is awesome.
2. They may be Santa's crumbs, but they're still cookies. Finders keepers.
3. You might think them an unlikely pair, but Sock Monkey and Alphie are the best of friends.
4. You don't need a Fairy Godmother to be a beautiful princess.
5. Breakfast casserole makes you sleepy.