I’ve been looking through old Christmas pictures and happened upon this little gem of Caitlin from two years ago. She is so full of joy and happiness that it nearly leaps from the photograph. Actually she was so full of joy and happiness that I had difficulty taking her photograph.

I’ve been making a point to relish the way my girls see the holidays. The magic of Santa will start to slowly fade over the years and heartfelt letters to the fat man in the red suit scribbled carefully with crayon will be replaced with online wish lists, requests for iTunes gift cards or a salon gift certificate for a pedicure or a blow out. Actually with girls those requests may be sooner than later.

I braved the grocery store with the girls the weekend after Thanksgiving when the holidays are unleased in all their retail glory and people sick of eating turkey leftovers head out in search of a frozen pizza or maybe ingredients for homemade lasagna. Signs of Christmas were on every aisle and a lavish toy display in the center of the store lured parents and kids alike to try out colorful plastic keyboards and tiny trains and baby dolls and the smorgasbord of enticing eye candy for the kiddies. Grocery shopping is just another chore to me but that day it was a treasure hunt. Seeing the girls’ faces light up as we wheeled through the aisles filled with holiday decorations and treats was priceless. Caitlin kept shouting, “Mommy look look over there, it’s a Christmas tree! Mommy look look over there, it’s Christmas lights!”

Last Monday I worked from home with Caitlin as she and I were both under the weather. We headed to my office around lunchtime to pick up some paperwork. I walk by the lobby fountain every day without a second glance, usually rushing to the elevator and checking out my crazy hair in the reflection of the elevator doors, but that day we took our time. We paused at the fountain and Caitlin tossed a penny into the water, closed her eyes tightly, and made a wish. When we walked into my office, the Christmas tree displayed in our reception area was a sparkling wonder to her and a walk down to our breakroom to make hot chocolate with marshmallows was a special treat.

I’m grateful for the magical way my girls see the world, because it has changed the way I see the world, especially during the holidays.

I’m also thankful that I haven’t yet lost it when Caitlin requests we play Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer for the thousandth time in my car. The fact that she sings “you could even say it blows,” instead of “glows,” makes it tolerable although frankly if I never hear Rudolph again you won’t find me crying in my hot chocolate.


  1. Colleen says:

    The phrase, “pure, unadulterated joy,” springs to mind when I look at that photo. What a priceless, darling shot.

    This is probably the first Christmas in a very long time where I’ve really been able to get into the spirit and I owe it all to my little girl, who’ll be 21 months on Christmas eve. Her awareness of Christmas, “Santa Coz,” and “kissmas tees” this year has sparked new life into my otherwise Scroogey outlook on the holiday.

  2. Mrs. Flinger says:

    Ahhh, I love your reflection on Chrsitmas memories. Uh, a much happier version than mine 😉

    Your girls are at the BEST Christmas age. Old enough to love it and young enough to not be jaded. I want to be four in my heart at christmas for always.

    (You could even say it blows.. HAHAHAH!)

  3. Renee says:

    I know exactly what you mean. I’m kind of in the middle here. My girls have grown a little too old for the ‘magic’, but my boy is just coming into it.
    What am I going to do when he grows up?!

  4. Amanda says:

    Hannah is so excited about Christmas. I took her to see the Nutcracker last night. She sat still through the whole thing. She just loved it! I think Gracie loved it too.

    I really loved this post. You have inspired me.


  5. malia says:

    That is a sweet photo. I have some black and whites of Sweetpea when she was about 18 mos that we used for Christmas cards that year (2001 – yikes!). I just adore those pictures of her.

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