“MORE!” Madeline shouted into the small space of silence after each hymn. It was Christmas Eve. The church looked just as it had on our wedding day- a wreath on every window, poinsettias covering the altar. My heart swelled with emotion as a family lit the advent wreath, as the children (all sopranos) chirped out carols in front of the church and as Mary and Joseph, shepherds and sheep, wisemen and camels marched through the sanctuary, while the words of the familiar Christmas story echoed. Tears filled my eyes as I looked over at my Mom and Andrew, so obviously delighted by our little doll, gussied up in her red satin dress, cable knit tights and black patent leather shoes, fascinated by the pageant. How did we get so lucky?
“MORE!” Madeline shouted, as she munched on Christmas cookies instead of breakfast. It was Christmas morning. She sat next to Andrew and I on the couch in my parents’ living room. A year ago, the room (and the rest of the house) had been a pile of rubble- a casualty of Superstorm Sandy’s undiscerning wrath. This year the room was piled high with more presents than the twelve of us present could have hoped for. My parents’ dreams for their home back, for memories to be made within their walls once again, had become reality. How did we get so lucky?
“NO MORE!” I thought, as I pushed back from my Grandmother’s table, set for 19, sufficiently stuffed by her feast. I found room for three more Italian pastries, from the special bakery in town, because it was Christmas. It only comes once a year. With it’s splendor and majesty, gifts and gratitude, fine foods and sweets. We are a fortunate family. That fact is not lost on me. But still I wonder, “How did we get SO lucky?”