The Christmas spirit is certainly present in the Olson household. It’s Christmas Eve, and the day has been filled with Christmas movies of all genres and flavors, reading Christmas related books for school, eggnog, frosting cookies, dancing for snow and of course, bickering.

The kids, eager to prepare for Santa are busily asking Charles and I for chores that need to be done, areas to be cleaned and what time they need to go to bed in the hopes that Christmas day arrives all the sooner.

JB remembered that we forgot to build the Santa Trap that was the focus of so many energies a few weeks ago, and rather than suggesting that we whip it up tonight, shrugged her shoulders and said “Oh well, we can do it next year!”

When told that cleaning off the stairs that connect the bedrooms to the living area, JB excitedly remembered that one of her school friends shared with her and the class, that if the house was not in order, if the children did not obey mama and daddy, then Banta, Santa’s evil twin brother would come instead and no one wanted that to happen!

Banta was indeed an evil twin brother because “he takes all of the good presents from under the tree and leaves only underwear, socks and coal!” Both BW and JB responded in horror at the idea, and quickly collected their belongings and stashed them in their rooms.

Thusly the house is now spotless (save for the kid’s rooms), the classic ‘A Christmas Story’ is playing, and both kids are eagerly gnawing on candy canes while regularly checking out the time. Charles and I quietly laugh at the kids’ new found understanding of the movie’s humor as we wait for them to tire so we can stow the presents under the tree. (We started this practice years ago, after several presents fell casualties to the inquisitive nature of two busy greyhounds.)

BW wistfully asked if we can watch Polar Express before trucking off to bed, and it is with that lone question with the softened look of warmth and holiday spirit that I knew that we had one more year, hopefully more, before the magic of Santa is no longer found within the hearts of the little ones.

And, knowing this, the Christmas Spirit has arrived within this Mama’s heart.

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