Twas the night before our early Christmas, where all though the house, not a creature was stirring except me and my elderly blind dog Hoku. She wants to play catch.

The stockings are all hung by the (unused) gas fireplace with care, in hopes that Mom and Marc managed to get to the mall and not kill anyone yesterday.

The children were all nestled snug in their beds, while visions of Forever 21 gift cards danced in their heads. While Marc in his sweats and Mom in her fleece had just settled in for a long winter’s movie.

In the morning downstairs there arose such a clatter, but no one got up to see what was the matter.

The sun was rising as bright as the day, that would help us prepare to send Ellie away. To Hawaii she goes so Christmas comes early, but in Oregon there’s no snow, just rain, which is dreary.

And what to their wondering eyes should appear, but a wonderful brunch, and thank god no reindeer.

On poached eggs! On orange juice! On cranberry scone baker! Now the oven! Now the broiler, Now the french press coffee maker!

Mom spoke not a word but went straight to her work, filled all the plates and turned with a jerk. Family time, ’tis the best part of the season. It’s my favorite perk.

It’s hard to let go of the little ones as they grow. Things change so much, they have other places to go. There are Dad’s in other places whose turn it is now.

So Mom exclaimed as Ellie drove out of sight. Merry Christmas my girl! And have a safe flight!