I couldn’t wait for Annie to go to bed on Christmas Eve so Santa could come. She had other ideas. My cousin Leah and her boyfriend Ted were staying over, and Annie thought this was the GREATEST! THING! EVER! She was wired and it took her forever to come down from the thrill of having people at her house. Once she finally fell asleep, we got to work.
Leah and I carried out presents and then we went to bed. I was too excited to sleep. I couldn’t wait to see Annie on Christmas morning.
Soon, my parents, aunt, and brother came over, and the presents were overflowing.
While Annie slept, the adults opened a few presents.
Then the littlest one woke up, and it was time for the magic.
She said, “Santa! Presents!!” and went right up and started touching the boxes.
We sat her down and put some presents in front of her. She slowly and carefully removed the wrapping, as if the paper itself was a present. She squealed and cheered over every gift, and wanted to play with everything immediately.
Then she kindly helped the rest of us open our gifts.
When we were done, we took her to the playroom, where she discovered one last gift from Santa:
A playhouse! I bet Santa and Santa’s dad had a super-fun time putting that together!
As she walked around it she kept saying, “Rigby, LOOK! Rigby, LOOK!”
Her excitement and happiness was everything I’d hoped for and the only thing I wanted.
As the day progressed, more aunts and uncles and friends came over, until we had a full-house. We ate, drank, and played.
As my family and friends gathered in my house, I stood back for a moment to take it all in. I am so lucky. I wanted to start Christmas traditions in the new house for Annabel, and we did it. I don’t take any of it for granted.
Even though a piece of us was missing, it was a wonderful day. Only 364 days until Christmas.