A week or so before Christmas, Apple aired a commercial that caught my eye and tugged at my heart. The narrative begins with family unfolding from a car while greeted and welcomed by other family members, clearly celebrating Christmas together. The scene cuts from activity to activity of family togetherness; yet, in the midst of all these Christmas card moments, there repeats a constant image of the teenage son occupied with his phone. From the outside looking in, he appears disengaged from all the tender telling moments of building family memories. However, at the end, he connects his phone to the big screen television, and plays a montage of the family moments his has recorded on his phone--his gift, a filmic homage to his family. The ad, titled by Apple as "Misunderstood," serves to reminds us that from the outside looking in, things often are not as they seem.
And so it is with most holidays and most families. As our family spilled and piled in differing permutations into our daughter's country home, it was a bit wild and sometimes boisterous and always busy. There were tumbles, spills, broken tree ornaments, stomach aches, and tired toddlers. There were mounds of dishes, piles of laundry, and scattered toys abounding. But there were also the sounds of a Christmas Eve choir
and the taste of Aunt Margie's famous (and family favorite) Christmas cookies.
There were stockings hanging on the fireplace
and Alex's paper snowflakes decorating the windows.
There was the traditional giving and receiving of gifts (finally my knits and quilts can be shown on this page!)
and serendipitous gatherings around the tree
or in the kitchen
or on the couch.
There was time for Alex to perfect flying his new remote controlled helicopter
and for him to build Legos with his Uncle Rob.
And was there time for this
Christmas is never quite as idyllic as Apple or Hallmark may portray it, but fleeting moments sprinkled throughout our time together ultimately capture and represent the love, constancy and bonds of our family at its core. Upon returning home yesterday, our son Rob pronounced it best, "..and my heart is full." So full indeed.
p.s. A few weeks before Christmas Alexis sent me this link, a gift suggestion for Rosie. The day I finished knitting this "Baby Love Sling," Matt came home with a bear he had made for Rosie at Stuffing Town. Perfect!