Saturday, November 29, 2008


My family can rock just about any holiday, but if family celebrations were nominated for Academy Awards, my dad would get Best Director and my family Best Movie EVERY.YEAR. Almost every year, my dad will confide in me something he has located for someone and I love the way he does this more than just about anything. His breathing will get all shallow and his voice gets all kind of whispery-quiet. He'll pause after every other word or so and kind of chuckle as if he can't believe he's actually going to divulge this precious gem of happiness. You know how every year, there are a few toys that are IMPOSSIBLE to find? My dad ALWAYS finds them. For some reason, salesguys will lower their voices, glance around with shifty eyes, and then wave him back to wherever they have just one or two left. Perhaps they sense an appreciative audience. Perhaps they just KNOW that my dad's middle name is Christmas. I don't know. But come one, isn't it fun to tell JUST ONE PERSON about the awesomeness you're going to unleash on someone? It IS.

Donovan has reached the age where the excitement before Christmas becomes a physical ache. He is SO excited. If he sees anything remotely holiday-ed up, he is giddy. Red and green sprinkles on his whipped cream-topped hot chocolate? COOOOOOOOOWL, MOM! The decorations outside the rec center? AMAZING! (after declaring that the giant balls looked like meatballs - um, okay) He wishes me Merry Christmas about 7 times a day. He says, "Yet's talk about Cwiss-miss some more, Mom. Yet's go sit on duh couch and talk about it some more."

While I've always looked forward to Christmas, it has been a while since I've felt that mixture of butterflies and a pre-ulcer all in one, in anticipation of the big day. But a couple weeks ago as I was out shopping for the kids, I came across a couple small nuggets that I think are going to be well received. And so, as I was driving home, envisioning how it would all be laid out, how the kids would come down the stairs, catching their first glimpse of their new treasures, how their mouths will drop and they will exclaim that they just KNEW Santa would come through, despite their parents saying "No way would Santa bring that," that ache and butterflies and heart-skipping and giggling all returned with a vengeance.

Like any self-respecting daughter of my father, I came home and entered the gifts into my spreadsheet grid (matching up givers and receivers with what goes where, so there are no doubles and all awesomes). And then I sat back as my eyes skimmed over the product of my diligent research and deal-finding. I have one small thing for Joel that is killing me not to give him early. But I'll hold it close so that as Christmas morning dawns and we have a few hours of completely glorious self-indulgence, I can look around and know that if not this year, then perhaps very soon my dad will be given 'Lifetime Achievement' status and I shall take his place as the master director.