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Sounds of Christmas©

December 23, 2009

When the leftover turkey is put away Thanksgiving night, Christmas officially begins in our house.  After the dishes are rinsed and dried, I put my feet up on the couch, take two aspirin, and wait.  It doesn’t take long for the sounds of Christmas to begin.

It starts with questions. 

“What are the elves doing?”

“Is Santa coming tonight?”

“Where’s the good summer sausage?”

The next day it continues with the steady hum of the vacuum.  Mommy’s Mood Lifter gets right to work erasing all signs of the season.  It chews up pine cone bits and moans under the third layer of dried twigs and berries.

For the next week it’s followed by the hectic sounds of craft-making with young children. Glue slurping and dripping, paper ripping, markers soaking into new cotton shirts, and the scratch-scratch of removing scotch tape stuck right to the table.

It continues with the sweeping of the broom and the scrubbing of the kitchen floor on bended knee.  Of course, after that comes the crash of the full milk cup.

The sounds of vacuuming persist.  Days are filled with the pit-pit sound from sucking up stray ornament hangers and the rat-tat-tats of a large chunk of candy cane.

In between are sounds of grocery carts rolling, paper bags crunching, and sugar-deprived cries of desperation.  Sometimes the kids cry over a cookie, too.

Several weeks into living with the festive decorations, I can count on the sounds of destruction.  The light bulb in the candle of our animated Santa shatters and pops.  He lasted as long as he could, but the tenth tackle by our son finally did him in.

Ornaments tinkle and crack, brittle snowflakes snap, and candy cane markers are uprooted from our walkway.  Our toddler considers them her personal walking sticks.

In the week before Christmas, the sounds are heightened.  Car horns honk louder, the snow falls softer, and people huff and grump in unison.

In our house the smoke alarm rings.  It’s followed by my yearly pronouncement, “No cookies next year!”  Coffee drips and my husband sticks to his schedule of sleeping in every weekend.  His snoring greets us every morning.

On Christmas Eve, all is well.  I sneak into both children’s rooms and behold a magical sight:  both sleeping, and quiet.  I put my feet up on the couch, and do nothing for many minutes.

Then on Christmas morning, the first sound we hear is our son’s voice.

“Mommy, I didn’t hear Santa’s bells last night!”

Christmas ends with the sound of my voice.

 “Honey, where are the aspirin?”

©2009, Kim Knuth.  All rights reserved.

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