On Saturday in-between rain storms, it seemed time to take down the Christmas tree. We had kept it up past New Year's because of the party or so I told myself. As my fingers touched each handmade decoration, what more precious? - the red stocking picture frame of BOY, leaning up against a tree, shirt stained with mud, a big boy look on his face; the little gingerbread man ornament that GIRL had crafted out of dough, plastered with mostly purple glitter; the tiny choo choo train from last year that BOY had clumsily painted yellow; the 2 wreaths each had made out of paper plates and colored paper; and the silliest ones - large Styrofoam balls festooned with glittery pipe cleaners resembling some kind of objects from outer space. All of them touched and created by little hands. My children. Who are now 3 and 4. And will never be this little again. And I sobbed. My babies are gone. I know intellectually that they are still small and have years to grow into bigger children. Yet, will Christmas ever be this magical again? So full of wonder? No, I don't think it will. There will be richness and new added depth, but nothing can surpass this year. When two little round cheeked children in PJs with footies, put on their handmade paper reindeer antlers, went outside with us to toss magic reindeer food into the grass, and watched with rapturous, wide-open eyes as their father pointed to the north and said, "That is where Santa will be flying across the sky." And they believed.... in everything.