We braved the cold and bundled up to go and see the caroling competition called Figgy Pudding. We took the bus downtown because thousands of people were expected, between the singing and the Pear Jam concert. On the bus, the kids were leaning on the window, pointing out all the lights. One large downtown building had a light on it's top that changed from red to green and my kids were squealing in delight "Now it's red" "Now it's green." An older gentleman on the bus was delighted by their delight, and as we left the bus he said "thank you for sharing your babies with us." It's why we do all this stuff right? Not for us old and tired grown-ups but for those cries of joy as the light turns from one color to the next.
We rode the carousel and warmed our fingers with hot donuts and cocoa. We listened to the groups of choirs singing on all the street corners downtown- some with jazzy hats and jingle bell rock and some with solemn tones of angels. All was magic in the dark night, with the press of people and the voices lifting up around us.
And then through the crowd, we saw one particular visitor. The kids got to have their chance with him, bless him for saving me from a trip to the mall. Unity went first and chatted away. Brixton, after climbing into his lap, stammered and looked at me. "Mom, what do I want for Christmas?" He got down without deciding.
We stumbled home, cold and tired but their eyes were full of the shining lights and they were humming carols as they went to sleep that night.