In the meantime it's easy to forget about all the work that goes into the details of it – the cookie baking, getting corrected addresses for Christmas cards and gifts that need to be sent, choosing and wrapping gifts – things that, even though we enjoy them, might sometimes seem like “one little piece of drudgery after another.”
Anna Quindlen's observation is a good reminder that even things that really are wonderful, things like babies and Christmas, are wonderful despite the drudgeries that make them possible.
As a grandma, it's easy to forget how much it takes to bring grandchildren to our house on a holiday, or how difficult it can be to coordinate even simple tasks for holidays – or any days – when small children are involved.
From the distance that time affords, we might see those things only as wonderful, forgetting our own struggles to find socks that match for our small sons, or the difficulty we had in getting three kinds of cookies made for the family cookie exchange in the midst of debilitating fatigue.
Even little drudgeries are good reminders that everything wonderful has its roots in hard work, or, as my own grandma used to say, “It's manure that makes a good garden.”