Molly under the tree, two years ago.
A couple days ago, our daughter (she's almost 9) asked us if we thought Santa was real. Now, we haven't kept her in a fairy-tale cocoon for all these years - she knows that Santa is not real, that he's just a happy story for children around the holidays. But she was so serious, and I didn't want to hurt her feelings, so I asked her, "Do you really want me to answer that, or would you rather enjoy the magic of Christmas for a while?" She smiled and said, "I'd like the magic. Could you please write 'From Santa' on a few of my gifts?" Of course I could, I replied, then asked her why she had asked about Santa. She said quite a few of the younger kids on her bus still believe in Santa, and she wouldn't tell them the truth because it would hurt their feelings. I love that she's still young enough to want to believe, and while knowing that Santa is not real, she wants to play along and help younger kids enjoy the fun of Christmas without spoiling their anticipation.
Christmas morning should be fun, and more so this year because my husband's sister will be here with us. She's a nurse, and is working both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, second shift. But she's going to come to spend the night with us Christmas Eve, after work, and we'll have lunch with her before she goes back to work again on Christmas Day. She works in a nursing home, and I know she brings a lot of comfort and joy to the residents she helps all through the year. She plays the piano for them, and I think she's brought her flute in to play for them as well. She also brings one of her cats in to visit occasionally - Ebony is an unofficial therapy animal, and the residents love to see her. She also brought our daughter to visit the residents with Ebony last fall, and they loved talking with her, and she enjoyed talking with them. I hope T-- has a wonderful holiday with her patients, and is able to be a blessing to them as she takes care of them.
Molly, sampling the Christmas ornaments
from the safety of the windowsill two years ago -
as if we can't see her, but it's more likely
she just didn't care if we saw her or not. . . .