Surveying the wreck that is my apartment, two things stand out: One, Santa was very, very good to Baby Bean and two, clearly some kind of earthquake/tsunami occurred while I was sleeping. Maybe the Grinch was here and threw a kegger, spewing good cheer and merriment all over my dining room table.
I think Christmas explodes in homes across America, but in a one bedroom apartment, the point of impact is spread throughout the home. There is the Christmas present strike zone immediately in the wake of the front door. These are the presents from relatives and friends that didn't quite make it to the tree, so they lay carelessly strewn about in no particular order in a kind of holiday obstacle course. Picture a hobbling mom in heels (because of course I'm marking Bean's first Christmas with a ridiculous shoe choice) with baby under one arm, diaper bag on my back, a tray of leftovers balanced precariously on my forearms, and a giant toy train that I should have left in the car, but insisted on carrying, causing frequent stops to re-balance, and almost dropped Bean at least twice.
And so the hallway became a graveyard of everything I couldn't bear to carry any more. First the shoes came off, then the food went down, followed by the toy train, and the diaper bag. Bean's coat and hat lay on the floor in a clump next to mine. My husband followed in similar fashion, leaving presents like cookie crumbs to mark our way to the door should we get lost in the Christmas chaos that enveloped our apartment.
The second point of impact occurs directly under the tree. This explosion is easy to track because the boxes and wrapping paper are in piles around the evergreen epicenter. I wish I could say that Bean saw the presents that I carefully and studiously picked out and was overjoyed. In truth, Bean was most enthralled by ripping the wrapping paper and sucking on the ribbon. I might have been better off depositing Santa's presents in her college fund and just wrapping some empty boxes.
Looking at Bean in her Christmas elf pajamas, I can't help but smile. She will have no memory of her first Christmas. Only photographs and video will detail her unbridled enthusiasm for ripping wrapping paper and gnawing on boxes. Surveying my mess, it can wait one more day. Sitting here in my pajamas is far too enjoyable and really what's the rush? Christmas only comes once a year!