And just like that, it's over.
The presents are ripped open. The surprises are gone. The mess is cleaned up. The tree is down. The only thing that remains is the few fake pine needles that will linger in the carpet for the next several weeks to remind me that we indeed had Christmas here.
Isn't it funny how weeks and weeks of preparation - the decorating, the gift hunting, the hiding away of the purchases, the wrapping, the baking for parties - are just over in an instant?
We had a great Christmas here at the Blair house. I would say that the excitement level was at an all-time high this year. With Madalyn almost five and David a still believing eight-year-old, I wish we could have bottled the excitement and passed it out to households that just didn't have enough. Santa's bag was full of surprises for the children - David finally got his gas powered four wheeler he's been asking for since he could talk. He's been riding a little battery operated one he got for his birthday four years ago, and it's about on it's last leg. And I believe Santa may have gotten a spectacular deal on the one he brought (wink, wink). Whatever strings he had to pull, deals he had to finagle, or meals he may have to skip in the next several weeks - it was all worth it when David found a key to a new four wheeler in his stocking. There's just nothing like seeing your child get something they've wanted desperately for so long.
Madalyn got exactly what she wanted, too - an absolutely gaudy hot pink and black "beauty shop" vanity, complete with mirror surrounded by lights and hair clips and pretend scissors. She also got a set of pretend hair dryer and curling iron, a gown and robe, a little Crayola art desk, and a couple of big coloring books. Needless to say, she couldn't have been more pleased with her goodies. Of course her loot next to her brother's looked a little unfair, but the monetary difference was amazingly unequal. Isn't it nice when their stuff is still so cheap?
The biggest Christmas blessing of all for me and Scott is that we were able to do for our kids this year. After the financial blows we've suffered, I must say the biggest joy of all was watching them still have the same kind of Christmas they've always had. For the past several months, I have fretted about how it would all work out. But it did. We may have had to borrow from this, scrounge around with that, but it all fell into place. But on Christmas morning, I did think of other families who may not be as fortunate. I thought about other parents out there who had lost their jobs this year or had fallen on hard times. And I was so thankful for my family who has been so supportive through this tough year.
And so, another Christmas come and gone. Almost another year complete. Many memories. Many smiles. Many tears. But many blessings. Many, many blessings.