Elves are busy here. Our daughters enter into the merrymaking with verve, and that's a very good thing. They have taken over most of the cookie baking (and the washing up). They untangle the lights and feed them up to me as I circle the tree on the stepladder. They wrap packages, pack them into boxes, and weigh the boxes for shipping. They sew gifts for one another.
I cherish watching them work. Their hands are beautiful in this mother's eyes. Their fingers are graceful and careful. I remember when those fingers first gripped a fat crayon; now they can maneuver through delicate stitches. It is this season that provides important markers of their passage through childhood. Each year they manage more on their own.
Homeschooling is especially dear to me in these crazy-busy weeks, not just because it gives us the flexibility to stop the crazy-busy and go sing-along with "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" at Longfellow's home church. The tree is twinkling as we do math, and I get to hear their first impressions of Truman Capote's exquisite prose as each of them wraps up her first read of A Christmas Memory.
|Fern's gift for mama last year|
|Fern's surprise from Blossom, Christmas 2009: Doozie the Hen|
|Blossom loves Pickles the Polar Bear, made by Fern|
Christmas 2009; hat also by Fern