Yes, Biscuit has been alive for 2 previous Christmases, but this is the first one for which she was conscious of the magic. Last year, she waddled around and looked vaguely interested in the presents we unwrapped for her, but she didn't really get the all-important concept of major American consumerism. Our main joy was watching her face light up each morning in December when she saw the tree again and shouted, "Tee! Baws! Tee! Baws!" Because everyone loves a tree covered in balls.
This year, she was shrieking, "Oh my goodness! Oh, wow! There is a present for me, probably!", and when she tore into a gift, it was reminiscent of an alligator ripping into a bloated 'possum carcass. Seriously. The kid is rabid with joy and enthusiasm. And we love it.
We loved shopping for her gifts. We loved replacing all the ornaments she pulled off the tree. We loved dramatically staging her stocking for maximum excitement. We loved eating the giant ham from Target that we got so we wouldn't have to cook this week. And we really loved setting out milk and cookies for Santa, and then gulping the milk and taking strategically placed bites out of the cookies.
To be honest, Christmas hasn't been magical since 1989, known around our house as "The Year of the Nintendo". Imagine, if you will, the two of us at the high point of pre-teen awkwardness, separated by 250 miles. Dr. Crog is gangly and pale, wearing a Guns N Roses t-shirt. I am short and pudgy with a Dorothy Hamill haircut, wearing a Maggie Simpson shirt. And we are both cracked out on the original Super Mario World. Little did we know what the future held for us, outside of beating Bowser on level 8.
But I digress.
Christmas is magical again. That's what matters. Seeing Biscuit's eyes light up when she saw the tree. Watching her deliver gifts to her great-grandparents. Listening to her play with her new globe with her grandmother. Hearing her ask her grandfather to read her a new book. Dr. Crog and I, sitting on the couch, bloated with ribs and peanut candy, watching Gross Pointe Blank while Biscuit enjoyed her new shopping cart and blissfully ignored us. And just watching T. Rex look around with that cross-eyed, bewildered, Winston-Churchill-on-LSD look that all 4-weekers share.
Life is just so much richer than I had imagined possible.
Kinda like those 7-layer cookies that my friend Christine made last week. But without the toothache.