O Holy Night with a ToddlerBeth Anne Ballance
It was Christmas Eve and I ran around the house with curlers in my hair, moving chairs and double-checking the place settings. I always host Christmas Eve for my family and oddly enough, it’s easier this way with a toddler because we can put him to bed without leaving the party and he gets to enjoy the magic of Christmas Eve in his own home. It’s stressful, of course, to prepare food for 11 people before going to church in the evening, but it’s part of the fun for me.
I wore a black dress with a red wool coat and Harrison wore a red sweater with a moose on it. My husband was in dress pants and I held his hand and carried Harrison on my hip. We stepped inside the church where we married almost a decade ago. It was full of people – we knew a few, most were strangers. Even though we are members of the church, we haven’t been to a Sunday service in many years.
The music swelled and my little boy sat on the edge of his seat, listening to the Christmas story that he had heard before. He stood while we sang and asked me to hold him and I sang the carols I know by heart. Harrison laid his head on my chest while I held him and he smiled – I think he likes hearing me sing from all the tunes I hummed while preparing for his arrival. My husband looked over and smile at me and squeezed my hand. He was singing, too.
My heart overflowed with love for my little family, with love for our church home that we visit too rarely, for my little boy being part of Christmas with me.
As we lifted our candles high on the last verse of Silent Night, I never felt more blessed and happy.
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