Friday, December 26, 2008

A Good Day

Christmas this year began with my Grandmother's Swedish meatballs on the eve. It was a mopey start, however, because Banana was going to be with Mére until mid-day on Christmas. Even so, the meatballs and gløg came out well. In fact, I'd almost say they were the best I've ever done. Practice does make perfect, as my grandmother's example showed.

Christmas morning was a bit mopey as well as it is less fun to wake up without a kid chomping at the bit to open her presents. Nonetheless, I got up, made coffee, and worked at finishing up Christmas preps. Then a wonderful thing happened: Mére called to say that Banana wanted to come over earlier than planned. I had to race a bit, but things came together and I even managed to get showered before they showed up.

What followed was brilliant. Banana was naturally excited about the spread of presents—though in reality it was less this year than last year. Better yet, she was excited about everything she opened—from the stocking gifts to the Schoolhouse Rock DVD to the iPod Shuffle (pink, with her name engraved on back) to the Hanna Andersson outfit (including boots) to the framed picture of her ballet group from the spring. Honestly, it was sweet how she reacted to each and every one, and it was even sweeter that she made a point of saying "Thank you" for each and every one she knew was mine. And when it came to the Santa gifts (iPod and Pixos), she was beyond happy that Santa had remembered what she'd asked for.

The second part of our day — the day with the extended family — was mostly drama-free, too, which helped turn this into a grand Christmas. Ultimately, what made it great was the sense that the people who mattered — including my ex-father-in-law who came over for a bit while Mére rested — all had a grand time. Cynicism aside, it truly is a wonderful life sometimes.