Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sparkle Bright with Fairy Dust

If I hadn’t been so busy the week leading up to our family get-together, I would have been better prepared. I spent my day off this week writing articles about Alzheimer’s, so my “to-do” list turned into the “didn’t-get-done” list.

Saturday, I woke up at 6:30 with the idea of getting an early start. My philosophy turned into what gets done is done, and what doesn’t just will not happen this year. While I jumpstarted myself with coffee, my daughter-in-law made biscuits and gravy for breakfast.

My granddaughter stayed with me while the rest of the family went to town. I wrapped presents behind closed doors and handed her gifts to place beneath the tree. I vacuumed and worked on laundry. My granddaughter helped me fold clothes, sort through paper plates, and bring up more decorations from the basement. “Grandma Linda, you sure have a lot of stuff down here,” she said. She read from labels on plastic storage boxes, “Here’s Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s Day, and more Christmas.”

The day flew by, but when the rest of the family arrived everything was ready. My youngest granddaughter was Santa’s helper and distributed gifts. My four grandchildren range in age from 2 to 15, and have a variety of interests. The older two prefer doing their own shopping so it made more sense to give them pre-paid credit cards. Santa’s helper prefers Barbie dolls and princesses. My youngest grandson likes trucks and cars.

In the midst of tearing Christmas paper and prying gifts out of the packaging, shiny pieces of foil flew from the Peter Pan book and sprinkled the carpet. “Ooops! Glitter is all over the floor!” my niece said.

“That’s not glitter, that’s fairy dust,” I replied. “Cathy Rigby put it inside the book when she signed it.”

Cameras flashed as we captured moments—revving up Monster Trucks to jump Matchbox cars and assembling the Barbie TV Cooking Show set. It’s hard to believe that Barbie can cook in those high heels and wearing that mini skirt.

After we—I mean the kids—played with their toys for a while, everyone began to gather up paper, boxes, and debris scattered throughout the house. A heroic attempt was made to scoop up the fairy dust, but it was everywhere so I volunteered to vacuum later.

Considering the chaos yesterday, everything is remarkably back in order. I have a lot of leftovers, but microwaved biscuits and gravy hit the spot.

After church this morning, I switched on the fiber-optic tree, put my feet up and read the paper. I haven’t vacuumed yet, and fairy dust winks at me from the carpet. Yesterday my house was filled with love and laughter. Today is silent, peaceful, and a time to reflect on all the magic that has graced my life.

With family time behind me, Christmas seems to be over. The bright sparkle of fairy dust and the lighted tree remind me that Christmas isn’t just a “holiday season”—it’s a way of life.
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