We are the family that gets our tree late and leaves it up until January. So Friday, I bought our tree, brought it home and hauled it onto the front porch. M was home sick so we snuggled up, while I worked and she watched endless, mindless television. After a while we prepared the living room for the tree. J came home and then we picked up the boys. We set up the tree and began decorating.
When the tree was finished it was proclaimed to be "the most beautiful tree ever!" We listened to Christmas carols while we gazed at our creation.
After the decorating was complete, the children dispersed. The boys wanted to play on the computer.
M, still not feeling well, resumed her position on the big red chair.
I spent some time reorganizing the decorations on the tree. While doing so, M said, "Mom when you are done, would you like to join me on the chair?" To which I replied, "I would be delighted!"
The two of us sat, with our legs dangling over the arm of the chair, together. She began to ask me questions about when I was a little girl and what I did for Christmas. It was one of the most delightful times I have spent as a mother. I shared with her the tradition of our Christmas and that we had "Christmas stairs." She wants Christmas stairs, of course. I got the picture of the home in which I spent many Christmases and showed her what I could from a picture of the outside of house. Then I remembered that I had a picture, taken at Christmas, of my whole family. We sat together in the chair talking about Christmas, family and Jesus. We looked at the ornaments she has made over her short life and I wondered how many more she will create.
We talked about the people who now live in the house I grew up in. She asked if they use the Christmas stairs. "No," I said, "they don't." "Why?" she asked. "They are Jewish," I replied. "But we are Jewish." "Yes, we are Jewish, but we are Christian too. We celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, they only celebrate Hanukkah." "Well, maybe they have Haunkkah stairs," she said.
Maybe they do.