I am doing one of my favorite things at Christmastime.
Sitting next to a crackling fire, with candles flickering, looking up at our lit tree.
Most of our ornaments are not vintage or expensive or even breakable
Rather, they are homemade, pictures in frames, ornaments made as gifts at school.
They are all above a certain height to avoid curious little hands.
They were placed "carefully" by the boys who helped trim the tree.
I love it.
It speaks to me of tradition and family and love and home.
We had a merry little Christmas with my dad and his sweet wife just a few nights ago.
It was a gift.
I was seven when my parents divorced.
I don't remember Christmas as a family.
Rather, I remember Christmas Eve at dad's house and Christmas morning with mom.
We got double the presents.
That was my seven year old perspective.
Since I was sixteen, my dad has lived in another state and the distance has made it a challenge to spend Christmas together.
So, when he called to say he was coming, my mind went to tradition, to celebrating, to cherishing a Christmas my children could share with Grandpa and Nanny.
We set the table and made a simple meal,
took some photos in front of the tree
and opened our gifts.
Grandpa put batteries in the new toys and the boys raced around in glee, flying their helicopters, pushing buttons on their cars.
Nanny hugged them tight and made sure she had some "special" time with each of them.
I watched my dad watch my kids, smiling.
It was peaceful, simple, unhurried.
It was a Merry Little Christmas.