The stockings are hung. The fake 4 foot pre-lit tree is atop the table. It doesn't SOUND that magical. But it is. Katie pronounced it the most beautiful tree in the whole world, and I believe her.
Admittedly, some beliefs have been shattered this year. As the girls were wrapping the presents for their friends, I was instantly taken back to my Mom, carefully and patiently teaching me the same present wrapping skills so many years ago. Shocked, I realized for the first time, I might NOT have been a fantastic helper. She might NOT have "really needed" my little finger to hold the bow as she tied it. Itmight be possible that she could have wrapped the presents by herself. Whoah.
Katie says Santa Mouse might not be real. Our favorite Christmas book is the story of a tiny mouse who wants to give Santa a present. His generosity is magical. Rob and I always left out peanuts for Santa Mouse instead of cookies for Santa. When I asserted that the peanuts I left out each Eve were always eaten. Katie patted me sympathetically and said "I think Santa might have eaten them, Mom. To make you THINK there was a Santa Mouse."
The aforementioned tree is another shattered belief. I was a real tree snob forever. Now, keeping my Santa-sanity is the real magic of the season. I LOVE my fake tree. I LOVE that it is short and easy and will not harm anyone if it topples over. I LOVE that we can all decorate it together because all the branches are equally ugly and strong. And I LOVE that I will not be finding needles until April. I am sure I will go back to real eventually. But right now, I believe in fake.
Some beliefs are holding strong.
Brown-held beliefs this season: 1.) Elves must be Alabama fans because they wear red and white. 2.) The tooth-fairy is Santa's daughter. 3.) The Baby Jesus has to hide. He can't be in the Nativity scene until the big day. 4.) Anna only wants candy for Christmas. She says she has plenty of toys. 5.) Bethlehem is in Pennsylvania. The REAL Bethlehem that is. This is my fault. Katie and I were having a conversation about the mid-east, the three Kings, the flight into Egypt, etc. I mentioned that LuLu, GrandDaddy and Pop Pop had all been to Greece recently. They went to places where some of Jesus's friends had lived. They were just across the sea from Bethlehem. Anna misconstrued our exact meaning.
I told Katie and Anna how much I appreciated their help.