We have no snow, nor any expectations of sleigh bells, or even chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Yet, our simple tree is trimmed, the stockings are hung by the fireplace with care (we can’t claim a proper chimney), and a profusion of electric lights have been strung around the house, both inside and out. In short, and to borrow the famous phrase, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!”
The time of giving is upon us, and Wife takes her giving very seriously. As all her gifts are purchased and tucked safely away, she turned her eye to help our children make their presents. Let the crafts begin!
At one point, Wife went where I would dare not, the paint and brushes came out. Child-safe paint though it was, it just goes to prove her bravery and devotion to the Christmas spirit. As the art supplies came out, the children flocked around her like chicks around a hen. Even #8, though he is only one year-old, rushed the table so not to be left out.
Wife laid down the news paper on the table and began the shifts. In twos and threes she set them at the table, teaching patience to those who waited. She then furthered her instructions of patience by only allowing one color of paint to a child at a time. If #1 wanted green, she could not use blue until she had finished with the green and her brush was washed. While at the same time, if #4 wanted the green, she would have to wait for #1 to finish with it. So like a little factory of “paint-by-the-numbers”, the children steadily cycled through.
The girls pained without incident. So there is no point in relating that to you.
The boys’ performance was fair. #5 could manage pretty well on his own, as long as he didn’t get too excited. Reaching across the table, he would completely ignoring whatever was between himself and the object of his desire. #6 and #7 were each given a brush, but only after Wife had dipped them herself. And #8 was set on Wife’s lap so she could control his painting, and more importantly, what he painted.
She lightly dipped the brush in the blue, and then carefully placed it into the toddler’s hand. Ready for his overflowing enthusiasm, Wife had moved everything out of arms reach from the little boy. Nothing would get knocked over if he flailed his arms around with excitement. However, instead expressing his excitement by banging on the table, in the blink of an eye, he turned the paint brush around and chomped down on the bristles.
If I had been in Wife’s place, that would have been the end of gift making. No, that may not be true. Either I would have stopped it all out of frustration, or I would have waited to see if #8 took a second helping. Fortunately, Wife was in the Christmas spirit, and with patience unusual for this late in her pregnancy, she quickly extracted the paint brush, and then guided her baby boy until his work was finished.
So, for those who sneer at the Christmas season, who say “humbug” at the Christmas spirit, who call December a commercial endeavor; I say you are dead wrong. And to prove how Christmas inspires charity, provokes “good will toward men,” and brings out patience for all; I show you the joyful smile and blue teeth of #8, and behind him the amazingly good humor of Wife.
Merry Christmas to all!