The tides of Christmas have swept in.
There is snow (or at least a cold California drizzle) in the air.
People are baking with cinnamon.
And Christmas lights are making bright beacons out of homes,
beckoning us towards cheer and good will.
And we are caught up in it.
The house is decorated. The Christmas quilt my mom made is
laying over the back of the overstuffed chair.
Mercury glass votives line the mantle and bristle brush
trees frame small frosted paper houses making a small
snowy Christmas scene on top of our television armoire.
We don't have our tree yet but that is next on the list
since the children keep reminding us....and reminding us.
But we have done some shopping.
I took each boy out by themselves to shop for their brothers and their dad.
It is a rare time when I have a moment alone with one of my sons.
Mostly we roll into a store like a loud unruly gang with high pitched voices
and energetic body parts that need to be corralled and kept in line.
But going out with one boy in tow for gift buying has been a treat.
I have gotten to hold their hands and hang on their words and give
them undivided attention....a priceless commodity in our home.
I have caught some gleams of hope in my boys eyes.
The hope that they have found the perfect gifts for each other.
There is a lightness in their steps as they picked out the presents,
fingering the crisp packaging, and wishing outloud.
Addison wished that he could have every single thing
he bought for his brothers.
Jack wished he could have more money to buy more presents.
Will wished that we could give the presents immediately as soon as
we got home.
This is joy. Buying dollar toys and candy for a brother.
Comparing notes on what dad would like best.
And sucking cold air into your lungs as you skip to the car
with a bag of gifts clutched at your side.
And the best part? It only gets better.
It's not even Christmas yet.