1. What is the best gift you received this year? (Tangible gifts only, please!)
A darling bag for my knitting, which includes a holder for needles. The Princess chose it on a shopping trip with Pure Luck. After Christmas, she regaled me with the story, including a pretty darn good impersonation of Pure Luck.
The Princess: I like the one with the polka dots better than the one with the toadstools.
Pure Luck: RRMrrrmmm. (Closest we can come to his Tall Man Lurch-style mumbly-grumbly noise-making.) It’s your present.
The Princess: Yes, but it’s your money.
Pure Luck: RRMrrrmmm. That’s true. (goes to counter and puts down credit card)
The Princess stands there wondering what to do next. Pure Luck stares down at here.
The Princess: What?
Pure Luck: It’s customary to put the thing you are buying on the counter.
The Princess: Oh.
2. What is the best gift you gave this year?
The Weasley!! It was finished in time! It looks adorable on The Princess! (Pictures to follow.)
3. When did you do most of your shopping/creating?
It was spread out over the month of December, but I was finished by the 17th with the shopping parts. The knitting went on to the bitter end. I finished the Weasley on the morning of the 23rd. (#2 Son’s sweater is still in process.)
4. Did you go shopping the day after Thanksgiving (U.S.)? No. I made a point of staying home.
Today? (The 26th) Yes, because Pure Luck neglected to find gifts for his young cousin (16) and his aunt and uncle. We had to pick something up on our way to have belated Christmas with them.
5. What stands out already about Christmas 2005?
How well everyone in our family got along. We had a great time at “the Production” last week and on Christmas afternoon with the extended family. Our own Christmas Eve was quiet (after church, that is) and warm, and we also had a wonderful time with Pure Luck’s closest family members (see above). Several rousing games of Apples to Apples (best game ever, you need to have it), with both families, exemplified the convivial nature of the holiday this year. And, no, it’s not just because I won three out of four games we played. Really, it’s not.
The miracle is that my former in-laws have embraced Pure Luck, and his family has embraced me and my children. There is so much love and acceptance. After Christmas dinner, we sat around the table playing Apples to Apples, and Pure Luck was right next to The Father of My Children. When The Princess was moving her chair around needlessly, it was Pure Luck who administered the fatherly correction: “Princess, it is not a rocking chair,” delivered with the exact tone of gentle firmness that children know they must obey. That is another miracle. It wasn’t all that long ago that he was sure he was a disappointment to me in his relationship with my children. He has grown into the role, and it fits him comfortably. And their father allows it to be played, perhaps an even greater miracle.
As my Hostess Sister-in-Law said later, “Sometimes I wonder if we’re just kidding ourselves, but it seems like it really is working.” It really is. It really is, and I thank God for it.