I always knew that the Christmas season would be a million times more magical with children. My babies are still so young, but I'm starting to see the magic of the season reflected in Nicole's eyes. She plays with our Little People nativity set and groups all of the figures around the stable so they can see the Baby Jesus. The first thing she does after breakfast is rush downstairs to press the button that turns the Christmas tree lights on. She's helped me make some holiday treats and knows that the big man in the red suit is Santa (or "Teenta" as she pronounces it). Every morning we open one of our advent boxes to see what ornament she gets to put on our miniature tree that sits on the piano. She dances to my holiday music playlists and stays a respectable distance away from the lit fireplace, exclaiming "Hot!" and then curling up on the couch while we watch a show or movie. She snuggles down under her blankets at night like a pro, demands that we share our hot chocolate and eggnog, and eats fudge like there's no tomorrow.
Austin has no idea what's going on, but he does enjoy being placed under the tree so he can stare up at the lights, and I'm sure he appreciates the fact that the cold weather results in me being much more willing to wear him in the baby wrap than if it were summer.
A time of wonder, joy, love, and thankfulness. The innocence of my young children. Gratitude for the miraculous birth that occurred hundreds of years ago - the true reason for the season. It all combines together to make the end of the year quite an enjoyable, cozy, heart-warming time, even while living on a broken sleep schedule and pushing through postpartum mood swings. And I can't wait to start acting out the nativity with those babies of mine. We are definitely going to make Doug be the donkey because, ya know, dads give the best horseback rides. Obviously.
^^^Believe it or not, this was her FIRST time meeting Santa. And she didn't even cry. But she was a little concerned.