It's the same living room: a couch, a piano, an armchair, a coffee table. Things are moved around a bit, and the end table is now a corner table, but it's the same living room. In that perfect spot, in front of the stained glass that went up with the house over one hundred years ago, there is now an eight and a half foot Scotch pine that we lovingly selected, cut down, and dragged in on Saturday afternoon. Sean and Finn strung it with lights that day, and we all pitched in to decorate while listening to John Denver's Rocky Mountain Christmas that evening. It was a perfect night.
And with that tree, the space is somehow magically transformed. The same space where craziness ensues with frequency in my world of little boys seems calmer. Finn is less interested in popping in a DVD and happy just to search for ornaments on the tree. Emmett is delighted by the wooden train that Sean set up at the base. The white lights sparkle in the reflection on the shiny wood floors. The air smells like pine. The tree somehow makes quiet more permissible, and sitting in its glow feels like an activity in and of itself.
It is these little touches of magic that make the holiday season for me. Here's hoping you find your own simple holiday joys in the weeks ahead.