The anticipation of Christmas is lighting me up in a way I haven't felt since I was a little kid. Except I think its actually sweeter now. Uncle Ken is coming to stay with us for a week, and I am soooo looking forward to spending time with my brother with absolutely nothing on the agenda but to relax, eat, drink, chat and play. We'll go to my parents' house for Christmas dinner -- the traditional roast beef that my Dad dresses with fresh chopped herbs and serves with a gorgeous, hearty red wine reduction; my mother's crisp Waldorf salad and all the assorted sides; eggnog spiked with brandy. The best part will be the way my parents dote on their grandchildren, hearing them laugh and coo and chat with their grandbabies.
This is the first year that Nico has really understood what is happening. He loves driving around and spotting the decorations on neighbors' lawns, the giant snowflakes on the street lamps, and the Christmas trees that have popped up everywhere. He talks about Santa, and insisted that we get a blue star to put on top of the Christmas tree. He loved putting up the tree with R*, and he did a bang-up job of decorating it (for the 5 minutes that his attention wasn't distracted by something else.)
I can't wait to share Christmas morning with Nico. Its not just the anticipation of seeing his face when he discovers the presents that have magically appeared under the tree, or unwraps the gifts that are going to blow his little mind. Its the fact that it all exists -- the grandparents and uncles and aunts, the traditions, the tree, R* and me as parents, my beautiful little boy and girl, the season to celebrate. I'm so intensely grateful for it all.