A Child is Born

Author’s Note: This story started out as our annual holiday letter to friends and family, so I thought I’d use it as this week’s installment. Thanks for reading!  – M

There’s nothing like the birth of a baby to put us in the holiday spirit. In the middle of March last year, we rejoiced at the arrival of our daughter, Rainey Olefina. Now, nine months later, Scott and I are celebrating our first Christmas as parents, and though Rainey’s still too young to savor the sights and sounds of the season, it hasn’t stopped us from getting wrapped up in all the merriment.

On her nine-month birthday, we properly introduced Rainey to Santa, whom she subsequently hated more than the nurse with the immunization needle. So traumatized by her encounter with old St. Nick was she that he politely recommended we not bring her back next year.

After returning to the safe embrace of the only jolly bearded man she cares to know (her daddy), the three of us began our quest for a Christmas tree. We spent the rest of the morning searching every church parking lot, Optimist club stand, and tree farm in Billings until we found the perfect one for our living room. What took Scott and I hours to find and even longer that night to decorate, peaks no interest whatsoever in Rainey, unless, of course, our cat, Autumn, happens to be napping underneath it. Only then does she appreciate the tree’s branches as leverage to pounce on top of the growingly irritated kitty.

Christmas carols have been on constant rotation in our stereo since Thanksgiving, but from the looks of her bouncing and swaying, her favorite tunes are still Pop! Goes the Weasel! and Polly, Put the Kettle On. As much as we’d like to offer them to her, candy canes still pose as a choking hazard. Hot chocolate would burn her delicate taste buds. And she won’t keep mittens or boots on long enough to romp around in the snow.

In less than a week’s time we’ll be flying to Wisconsin to spend the holidays with Scott’s family. Despite the entourage of gifts and goodies that await us there, Rainey will be content just to pick the fuzz off their carpet, climb up on their furniture, and walk around their house with any two willing index fingers.

As we reflect on Rainey’s simple response toward the holidays, Scott and I are gently reminded of the humble birth of another baby that has also changed our lives forever.

When he was born, the legend of Santa had yet to be told. The pleasure of candy canes and hot chocolate were yet to be enjoyed. Snow never fell in the town where he was born, and the only tree he cared about was the one where he eventually died.

May the truth of Jesus’ birth put you in the holiday spirit this Christmas.

Peace and Love,
Scott, Meg and Rainey

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