Wednesday, December 27, 2006

First Christmas

Three years ago, Connor celebrated his first Christmas. All the grandparents, aunts and uncles were at our house bright and early to see what Santa had brought for the first member of our family's next generation. Connor was the center of attention, propped up in his bathtub seat in the middle of all the presents. We all ooohed and aaahed over his reaction to each bow, each scrap of wrapping paper, each gift. It was amazing, a special day that I will never forget.

Two days ago, Chloe celebrated her first Christmas. As has quickly become the tradition, all the family members were at the house first thing in the morning to see what Santa had brought. And again, Connor was the center of attention. We delighted in his reaction to all the presents, his wonder as he checked out the empty glass of egg nog that had been left for Santa, his excitement over 24 different colors of Play-Do. After weeks of anticipation, he was beside himself that the day had finally arrived.

After checking out the toys Santa and the elves had made for her, Chloe sat contentedly in my lap, laughing at Connor and clinging to my arm. Presents were passed around, and the stack in front of me and Chloe grew as I alone watched her pull the bow off of her first package and stare at it in wonder. "Can you pull this paper off too? Does it taste good?" I asked as she made her way towards what was inside. Just like Connor on his first Christmas, she enjoyed the packaging as much as the actual gifts. She didn't care if she was opening a book or pajamas or a toy, as long as she was able to get it in her mouth. It was amazing- something I'll never forget.

The rest of the family seemed to forget that a first Christmas has to be savored. "Stephanie, you need to start opening presents! Yours are piling up!" Our little moment was over and I went about the business of tearing open gifts at an acceptable pace. Connor was busy dashing back and forth between people and presents and piles of trash, keeping everyone entertained and truly enjoying the day. Chloe found her own comfort zone, and eventually made her way around the room to check out everyone else's haul and to be adored. I can't remember ever being happier than watching those two experience Christmas while surrounded by extended family. I love this holiday!

Someday I'll tell Chloe the story of her first Christmas, and I'll make sure she knows that her family showered her with love and with presents- and that for a few precious minutes, she had her mother's undivided attention.