That’s not just the title of a Christmas song.
Since the first of November when we began thinking about the holidays, I always felt like this Christmas was going to be different somehow.
Call it intuition, a sixth sense, or just a mother’s intuitive “knowing” that this year was not going to be like other Christmases.
I had insisted that we put all of our Christmas trees up as soon as November arrived. All (now) 13 of them. Plus the other decorations that fill our home with the holiday spirit, including the decorative ledge Ben does every year. It’s not a quick process, but we did get it all done and complete just two days before Thanksgiving.
We were able to celebrate our traditional Thanksgiving meal in our home that was ready for the Christmas season to begin. And we even joked about how next year we’d have an extra person around the table, since our daughter and son-in-law were expecting another baby the first of the year.
But Ashley kept saying she thought he was going to be early like her other babies, like maybe even at Christmas. Which would be a little too early, or so I thought.
We didn’t do our traditional Black Friday shopping because Ashley wasn’t up to it, although we did get the granddaughters’ Christmas outfits and took them to see Santa and had their pictures made, just in case the baby decided he make his appearance early.
Then Covid hit us, or should I say Ben and me, and we ended up quarantined for almost two weeks, unable to do much of anything. And yes, we’d had the vaccines and boosters, so I’m assuming it was a lighter case than others. But still…
Fortunately Amazon became our best friend, or should I say MY best friend, since I ordered almost all the gifts from there while we were sick.
But as the days passed by, Ashley was feeling worse with this pregnancy than the others, and along with her almost daily bouts of morning and any other time sickness, she developed choleostasis, a pregnancy induced liver problem in which the bile accumulates in the mother’s bloodstream causing severe itching and yes, potentially risking the baby as well as mom.
She began to be monitored twice a week by her doctors, and more miserable and sick than with the last two, and we were told he’d be coming several weeks early. We just weren’t sure exactly when. It seemed almost day by day things could change.
But we did know we’d have a Christmas baby, either before the day itself, or right after. And yes, that changed everything because he now would need a few more warmer clothes than she had for him, and a Christmas outfit, and of course we had to tell Santa we might have another child to bring gifts for in their household.
Santa already knew when baby would be here. He already had his gifts. But Santa doesn’t tell everything he knows.
And just five days before Christmas our family gained a beautiful baby boy! A tiny baby boy. Although 6 pounds at birth, even at 5 weeks early, he was still really little. Fortunately we’d found a few preemie sizes (which aren’t that easy to find) already, and hours after he was born I went out and found a few more. And when we brought his sisters to the hospital to meet him, we were able to have a pre-Christmas gift opening, just for their baby brother, with the tiny outfits that would actually sort of fit him!
Then we needed to figure out Christmas Day. Every year Ashley and her family have come to our house for dinner, where more gifts plus filled stockings awaited them all. It’s tradition.
But a baby changes everything. And as a baby boy who was born some 2000+ years ago at Christmas changed the world, our little grandson changed things for all of us as well.
In all good ways, of course. We have so much to be grateful and thankful for. We have a precious gift which came early, and as far as the doctors were concerned, he’s healthy. His big sisters adore him. Mom has her little man, Dad is just over the moon happy to have a son. And these grandparents are just loving him and spoiling him already, like the other two grandchildren.
And the hospital even featured him as one of two Christmas babies on their Facebook and Instagram pages!
Our daughter, however, is having a rough recovery from the third C-section, as well as post eclampsia, and just couldn’t travel a half hour away to our house this year. So we brought Christmas dinner to them at their house, as well as all their gifts. In a two car caravan loaded with bags and boxes. And we all celebrated in a new way. Because the joy and love found at Christmas isn’t measured in fancy food, a beautifully decorated table, or how many gifts there are. It’s celebrated with the love of family and friends, and the joy of being together.
And for our family, this year brought a special early gift that’s the best we’ve ever had. Our beautiful baby grandson.
A baby changes everything.
And that’s what Christmas is all about.