My little elf, staying up later than usual, plopped under the holiday tree working, working, working away on his gift projects (in this case - pipe cleaner ornament pins, something he learned to make in a class, and not from his supposedly-crafty mama). It isn't always that he wants to craft with me, which I think makes it all the sweeter when he does. Tonight, he's peaceful, content, and reflective. The house is cozy, quiet and softly lit, and it's just the two of us crafting and chatting. I watch him as he gathers his materials, sets them all up rather methodically, and begins to work with such intent. Counting, lining up, and listing off the people he wants to give them to. His silent focus is interrupted from time to time with meaningful questions about the people in our lives - it tells me he's thinking hard about the person he's creating for. He chooses carefully which color he thinks they'd like best, or whether a ribbon or bow is just right for them. Little things. Important things. I can see the excitement in his eye, the flurry with which he works, and can hear it in his voice when he anticipates what it will feel like to hand his special treasure to it's lucky recipient. And my own heart swells a little at his spirit of true kindness that comes from nowhere but his own heart. I look down at my own handwork to be gifted, which was beginning to feel tiresome and like a chore, and I am reminded and inspired. My little elf. My little teacher.