That first year we were innocent as sugar plum fairies, as we danced to the bedroom while salaciousness slathered our bodies. I curled in your lap as flames licked at the fireplace poker, sucking face 'till first blush wiped away morning dew from our eyes.
Me in a lace teddy and you panting at my heels, we tiptoed through our first Christmas morning, never thinking that lace teddies would soon become a distant memory.
Two became three and we stayed up playing with the toys we'd just assembled. A cup of eggnog and a kiss instead of moans whispering over a dusky moon.
One Christmas morning we saw fresh tracks on the front lawn, which the kids swore were Reindeer tracks. Remember the Nativity Pageant and there weren't enough bathrobes? We borrowed from neighbors. Our daughter made a sweet Virgin Mary -- all of seven years old and too shy to say a word -- so she held the Baby Jesus doll in her lap.
Now I sort through ornaments -- some old, some and broken but all well-loved -- as I sort past from present, useful from spent. I wonder at the miracle of how we've made it this long, wandering through joy and misery.
The hand print ornaments our kids gave us, I place next to the crystal balls, crystal ornaments that reflect the past in our present.
This year, I've set a table with a linen cloth and our best bone china and hung oranges with cloves over the mantle and a wreath at the door, cinnamon potpourri on the mantle, while a harp and flute play in the background.
As the earth lays quiet and hunkers down on a cold, starless night, I'll wait for dawn peeking above the horizon.
I will hold a crystal ornament to the light. Through that crystal, I see a rainbow prism, light once invisible now splintered into brilliant rays.
And I remember how we've made it this long, looking through that prism, seeing what I choose to see.
I choose love.