Christmas, Casa de Katie-style.

Merry Christmas, everyone! It was a (mostly) lovely here at Casa de Katie, and I hope it was wherever you were celebrating, as well.

[Yes, that’s me, glossing over the fact that I’ve been missing from my own blog for well over a week, vacationing, plague-ing, and working on my insanely fun research project like I don’t have any other responsibilities in the world. Including a blog. So sorry.]

Yes, Christmas was mostly fun because I was busy trying not to be fully consumed by round two (three? four?) of this Plague. Thankfully, my lovely little girls stopped bickering just long enough for me to nap on Christmas Eve and run around charged at only 70% the rest of the time. God, I love when children are in that stage where they still believe in magic and OHMYGODCanweopenpresentsnow! but are at the same time old enough to understand that it’s in their best interests to be on their best behavior so mom’s head doesn’t pop off. Trust me – in my state, that would have been very gooey.

But that’s not what you want to hear about in a Christmas post! Noooooo! So let’s talk instead about what I loved. I loved that I found out this year that Bee is genetically coded to make PERFECT drop cookies and rounded (you know – when you roll the cookie dough into a ball?) cookies. To specific size, even. I just had to show her how big once, and the kid could do it. She’s FIVE, people! My kid who can’t sit still for more than five minutes at a time is now my secret weapon in cookie-making. Even Gracie who hates to be bested at anything readily admitted that Bee was cookie-baking awesomeness. So I loved that we spent two hours in the morning making chocolate peppermint cookies and peanut butter kiss cookies….(wait for it)….without arguing once.

I loved that my said five-year-old also melted my heart this Christmas. The girls were busy doing their thing most of the morning. Playing camping and pretending to be dogs (feeding the girls dry cereal and water out of “dog” bowls on the floor? Easiest. Lunch. Ever.) and then making crafts on their own. And at some point in the middle of all that – perhaps while I was napping – Bee had wrapped up some trinkets. In some of her crazy, patterned socks, but still. She told me they were for me because she was worried I wouldn’t have enough presents under the tree because I only had one present from the girls and they had quite a few from me. (We unwrap family gifts on Christmas Eve.) Isn’t that the sweetest thing? The gifts were just baubles: a necklace, some used chapstick, and some Little Pet Shop pieces, but my heart couldn’t have melted any more. At least, not until Gracie opened an extra present Bee had slipped under the tree – an index card on which Bee had laboriously written in colorful marker, “To Gracie,” with an arrow point on the other side. When Gracie flipped it over, Bee – my child who just learned to read and who could spell even fewer words – had written “L O V E.” She gave her sister love. Now that makes a mama proud. It might be 20% kiss-ass, and they will go back to arguing at the littlest thing, but that 80% of True Christmas Spirit – that is something I will remember and hold on to when CrazyBee is trying my patience.

I loved that of all the gifts the girls received Christmas Eve – an enormous Barbie set from my aunt and uncle that made their eyes bug out of their heads, clothes, CDs, boots, and a wii game from me, and Perfection from their Great-Gram – what they played with the most on Christmas Eve while they were waiting for bedtime was the gifts they bought for each other. Gracie bought Bee a beauty-shop chair for her American Girl/Our Generation dolls, and Bee bought Gracie a horse for her American Girl (etc.) dolls. They played with them for a full hour, sharing dolls back and forth from the stable to the beauty shop. I might have encouraged Bee and Gracie on their final decision, but mostly the girls chose those particular gifts because each had been so vocal about how much they wanted that for Christmas and visited it each time we toured the toy aisles at Target. I love that my girls know each other so well.

And then there was Christmas itself. I loved that the girls were thankful for everything they got, from socks and bandaids to spygear and Polly Pockets. We had rehearsed being appreciative of gifts mostly for when they weren’t at home, and it made my heart happy that they learned the lesson so quickly and easily. Even Santa remarked in his letter that he had rarely seen children with better manners in all his travels. Judging by how my girls glowed when I read that out loud, I think they were rather proud of themselves, too. I loved how Gracie’s eyes lit up over her two new pairs of dress shoes and finally, finally!, a pair of funky purple Converse tie-sneakers that she’s been begging for. I loved how Bee glowed over receiving chapterbooks of her very own and once declared that they had too many things to open and we should give the rest to kids who don’t have any. I loved how hilarious the girls found it that Santa didn’t wrap my new tea kettle and my new sauce pan – or either of the new nerf guns that were on top of the gift pile. (Hey – Santa almost got caught once, there was no way he was wrapping last minute presents!)

But my very favorite part (okay, aside from Bee’s heart-melting presents), was when the girls opened their “big” gifts from Santa that he always leaves in the front room. Gracie nearly pierced my eardrums with her shrieks over her (very on sale) telescope. Bee opened her bag, tossed out the tissue paper and asked, “Nothing?” She swallowed most of her exuberance once she found her very. own. ipod shuffle – at least until she asked if she could listen to it at night when she’s in bed, like Gracie does with hers. Apparently she had worked out in her head that Santa might have trumped Mom’s rule of No Ipods Until You’re Seven-Years-Old, but she was afraid Mom still made the rules about when they could be used. Once I answered, “Of course!” that kid could have lit the city with her smiles. And never was she separated from her ipod again. I was afraid that Gracie would feel a little slighted; I thought the ipod was a better gift and I was afraid she would, too. But as Bee sand aloud to the songs Santa had magically loaded onto her ipod – and sang really, quite badly I might add – Gracie kept catching my eye and laughing behind Bee’s back. She thought it was hilarious. As did I. I loved that, too.

Yes, it was a very lovely, magical Christmas here at Casa de Katie. Even though I had the Plague. Even though the girls were constantly having nerf wars down the hallway, ducking behind walls and couches to avoid enemy fire and that I somehow kept walking into (perhaps because it gave them the giggles). Even though Gracie almost blew out half my forehead while sending me a secret-message dart from her spygear watch. Even though my family room looked like a cyclone had blown through. And even though I missed them terribly after I dropped the girls off at their dad’s, despite (or because of) the blessed, blessed quiet. It was the most wonderful, most magical Christmas yet.

Only 364 sleeps until the next one. Who wants to make a paper chain to count down?

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3 Responses to “Christmas, Casa de Katie-style.”

  1. Mary Says:

    So glad you & the girls had a good day! That’s such a sweet, sweet age!

  2. Gayle Says:

    What a great Christmas! Bee’s gift of love to Gracie is so very sweet. You are doing a great job raising your girls, Katie!

  3. Kathy Says:

    Sounds like a perfect, perfect Christmas. Hope you are finally feeling better.

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