"Jingle, jingle jingle
You will hear my sleigh bells ring
I am old Kris Kringle
I'm the King of Jingling"
"Hannah, you are so weird." I mused, shaking my head.
"You and your made up songs!"
She stared at blankly, trying to deduct if I was truly clueless or merely trying to give her a hard time. "It's not made up!" Laughing she continued, "it's from Rudolph."
"That's not the Rudolph song. That song I do know... 'had a very shinny nose'??"
"It's from the movie Rudolph. You know, the cartoon one they always play at Christmas."
It now was my turn to stare blankly. "There's a movie?"
"Oh dear." Hannah laughed and comic exasperation she declared my attendance to her house for Christmas cookies and movies. (Apparently I'd also missed seeing Elf as well and that was just completely unacceptable!)
I joined Hannah and her husband Nick for my first real family Christmas celebration. The cliche of the holiday was wonderful and I feel as if I'm writing a cheesy children's book as I describe it with laughter and scents of cinnamon. But that's how I remember it. A fairly tell dream of sugar plum fairies wouldn't have come any closer to my reality of that day. I know it wasn't a literal Utopia in all actuality but I don't care. I felt so spoiled and so overwhelmed.
Nick and I got into a dough fight while making "monkey bread." Hannah's mom wanted so badly to make these specific cookies for us and she was determined not to give up. I got a silly electronic Sudoku game in the gift exchange. It became my night time saving grace when I moved away a year later. The dog was playing with a toy that went flying through the air and into the kitchen making everyone fall to laughter... Oh, and I got my very own stocking. (You may take the liberty to add a childish grin to my face at this point.)
On the same hand, this was such a difficult day. I remember sneaking away several times just to steal a moment alone. My emotional senses were overloaded and I wasn't sure what to do. Sometimes I'd find an empty room and just sit a moment to breath deeply. Other times I'd let a few tears fall and have to talk myself from running straight out of the house. It was too perfect, too good, too happy and to me that meant the guarantee that something was about to go terribly wrong. The Lord talked me down each time however, almost as if to say, "This is my birthday party remember? Stay a little while longer. I love you and I want you here. Please stay. You can trust Me that it'll end well."
If you believe in Christmas miracles, this family was mine. It's amazing how you can feel so out of place and so at home at the same time. It was a good first Christmas. Clarice the Doe, the Island of Misfit Toys and the actions of a loving family all seem to make a little more sense to me now. Ahh, the lessons of life that can be sparked by a cartoon song...