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Simply having a wonderful

Christmas 2012 was good to us. Late last week, I was mired in worry and doubt but determined to cobble together a lovely Christmas no matter what. I’m so grateful for everyone’s prayers and thoughts for healing. The days seemed to last forever, but Archie was finally freed from quarantine. The antibiotics and quick diagnosis helped tremendously. He’s no longer contagious and no longer succumbing to vicious coughing spells. He will host a cough for months, but it’s manageable and not alarming.

Archie not only got to join us downstairs on Christmas morning, he received a gift he’s wanted for months: A giant Mario. People can do the Snoopy dance, too. I saw it.

All the trinkets and junk I was hoping to receive on Christmas morning seemed shabby next to my hope that we’d all find ourselves gathered around the tree, healthy and safe.

A year ago, I was preparing for surgery. Babies were behind us and so 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2010. I guess they’re still in style because I found myself buying yet another stocking. This time, it was for baby Ollie, 2012’s biggest news if I did one of those newsy newsletters of newsy bits. His wide-eyed burbling and snuggly fleece-pajama’d weight in our arms made the day brighter.

I included this necklace in my Large Family Gift Guide. Someone got the hint! Thanks to my mom, who gave it to me yesterday. I wear it proudly. When worn, all the little beads huddle and the effect is very pretty. I love having a reminder of my kids to hang around my neck.

Late in the day, after we peeled scotch tape from the bottom of new socks and logged in some naps, we ate. Bubbly drinks chilled in a bucket of freshly fallen snow. Peppermint marshmallows bobbed in hot chocolate. Sugar cookies were sugary. Not pictured: Prime rib dinner with taters, salad, bread. Melted in mouths!

Today, I’m feeling really grateful for every gift, big, small, seen, unseen. We had a happy day with family and a feast. I hope you did, too.

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