When most people tell stories of Christmas it is about the children. Eyes glowing. Paper flying. Footed pajamas.
This was really the first year that both of our children are "adults." Chase is moved out and on his own. Bethany is driving and has a job. (In this picture Chase is wearing the sweater he bought for the Obnoxious-Christmas-Sweater-Christmas-Party. He said his whole team wore them to work as a joke, and that an older lady told him it was cute and asked where could she get one.)
And while we had so much fun with our extended family on both sides the last two days (the photo below is of Bethany and the nieces "shopping" in Grammie's shoe closet), one of the best parts was waking up in our own home--just the four of us--and having Christmas around our own tree.
And so, I discovered that one of the beautiful things about adult children is in the gifts they give to you because it shares their heart. Chase bought John a Julios certificate and a case for his iPhone. He went to a real jewelry store and bought a necklace for me. He gave Bethany the new Razr. Bethany bought John a silver computer mouse and had it engraved. For me, a gift card to my favorite clothing store. For Chase, a Zippo--also engraved.
The gifts were touching because they communicated that our children knew us and each other. Really knew us. And not that the cost of a gift ever counts, but both the kids spent lavishly which was also touching. (Chase, Beth...if you read this, don't do that again!)
An interesting thing about the gift-giving part of Christmas is that though it receives much criticism (American commercialism and all that) it is also part of the magic and joy. As if the time you spend walking down aisles and deciding in the wonder and hope of delighting someone, translates into the paper and the boxes and the shiny ribbon.
And there is something about that moment, when the recipient is lifting up the tape to look inside to unlock the surprise that all of us feel like small children again.
I so love Christmas!