17 December, 2004

Christmas Shopping

Being the mother of small children is the best way to experience Christmas.

Last Sunday, I did something I really, truly hate to do. I made rollout sugar cookies. Here is why I hate that: the batter got all gummed up in the beaters, it stuck to the counter, it stuck to the cookie cutters.

I baked the cookies - they did really well except 1 snowman who was a little thin and got a little too crispy. I let them cool, and then I put frosting on them. THEN I got Molly (my 3 year old) and gave her the cookies and 4 different colors of sugar to decorate with.

Solemnly at first, then happily, then, finally, with abandon, Molly decorated our Christmas cookies. She was brilliant.

OK, so Christmas trees aren't purple, and the yellow for the angels' halos turned into yellow for EVERYTHING. And somehow, even though I thought I had protected the entire area where the sugar might possibly fall, my whole kitchen was sticky and Molly's brand new white turtleneck was spotted with the vestiges of her adventure. But she had a great time, and I hope she will remember that she and her mom made cookies together, and that they were wonderful. Because that is what I am going to remember.

Thinking about being a mom at Christmas inevitably leads me to thoughts of Mary.

I am worried about gifts and wrappings and food and trappings. Mary was giving birth to the Savior, to God's son, to the third circle in the trinity.

I have a warm house, a new car, a supportive husband and a loving family. Mary had a donkey, some straw, and a husband who, probably despite his instincts, was standing beside her to see what this was all going to be about, and parents who were probably still trying to wrap their minds around her situation.

I live where I am free. Mary was ordered away from home despite her condition.

I love my children regardless of who they turn out to be - I only expect them to fulfill their promise.

Mary, I am sure, felt the same. But the promise her child had to fulfill was so great- what pressure must she have felt as a mother?

But back to Christmas shopping- last night, I asked Molly what she wanted to give Meghan, her baby sister, Christmas.

"A toy!" she said.

"What kind of toy?" I probed.

"A music toy."

"Like what?"

Gleefully - "A Wiggles Dancing Guitar!"

The exact thing Molly wanted for her birthday last month but did not get.

"And what do you want Meghan to give you?" I asked....waiting....

"A Wiggles Dancing Guitar." Still gleeful.

So today, 1 week before Christmas, with all the shopping for the girls previously thought to be completed, I went to Wal-Mart and I bought the Wiggles Dancing Guitar.

For Molly. Meghan, of course, is too little.

This year, anyway!

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