Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Amari Christmas to All

When Carrie and I met, she was a huge Christmas fan and I was a bitter, cynical Grinch. She got excited in mid-November while I inversely pouted, grumped, and mumbled about stupid obligatory gift exchange, capitalistic, consumer bullshit, etc, etc. Initially, her enthusiasm for the holiday was so much stronger and so much sweeter than my contempt that Christmas became tolerable. When her father died, however, both of our extremes were tempered by her sadness, and in the following years Christmas kind of disappeared. We still made a tree from green poster board with pasted paper ornaments, but more often than not the day drifted by in subtle melancholy and indifference. 
This Christmas with Amari we had the opportunity to redefine the holiday. We're role models now, and we get to create new traditions and a new atmosphere - not only for her but for our family. For the first time in my life I bought Santa hats - for all three of us  - and I wore mine all day. We had a small tree with real decorations, a few presents for Amari scattered beneath it, and lights, lots and lots of lights all over the house. They've always been my favorite part of Christmas. We had coffee with Granny C, opened presents, took silly photos, and put Amari in a stocking for our best Anne Geddes imitation. In the evening we continued one of Carrie's family traditions by watching "Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas," and Carrie sang every song aloud to little Amari as she drifted in and out of sleep. It was perfect. 

And just like that - the holiday changed. A time of year that I dreaded and endured, closed my eyes and wished away, became a warm, nostalgic, family memory. 

Amari Christmas to all...

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