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When you’re the parent of small children, Christmas is best. For the first few years, my older son didn’t really “get it” and so the holiday came and went without that expected reaction to it. This year, though, I was sure that my son was going to finally understand it. We’d been prompting him for weeks about being a good boy and talking to Santa about what he wanted. It was a welcome distraction to the arrival of his baby brother, and frankly gave us something to hold over his head when he was acting out. But his baby brother, who’d be enjoying his first Christmas with us, probably didn’t even notice.

At the tender age of two months old and change, the baby was more interested in the lights on the Christmas tree and getting his hands into the tissue paper I used to wrap gifts. I planned on giving him a few small token items, things his brother could use to play with him, and things they’d (hopefully) grow up playing with together. For the most part, it was a success. My older son was over the moon with his gifts, getting several of the things he’d asked Santa for, and realizing how the system finally works.

His younger brother, though, was just happy to be along for the ride. The best gift, for me, though, was realizing our little family was complete and all was right in the universe.