Christmas is Coming!

28 Nov

As much as I love Christmas, it just doesn’t feel as magical as it did when I was a kid.

We grow into adults, life gets hectic, and the month of December often just rushes by. Before you know it, it’s Christmas Eve. Then you blink and it’s the new year.

When the Sears Wish Book came in the mail, I would spend days and days pouring through it, circling every little thing that I wanted. I knew I wouldn’t get any of it but that didn’t matter. It was so much fun to look and dream. Plus, that big catalog meant Christmas was coming!

The entire month of December was filled with anticipation.

How many more sleeps until Christmas?

When is the Christmas party?

When is the church Christmas concert?

Okay, now how many sleeps until Christmas?

Who are we visiting this year?

When can we put the decorations up?

When can we start listening to Christmas music?

When can we watch Rudolph and The Grinch?

We cut our own tree when I was really little, then, when I was older we put up a disgustingly tacky fake tree (until my mom purchased a modern one). It didn’t matter if the tree was real or fake, ugly or beautiful because once the decorations were on and the lights were lit, I always thought it was the best tree in the world. My brother and I would turn off all the lights (except the tree lights) and lay down beside the tree and just stare. We had this horrible multi-coloured blinking set when I was younger. Some of the lights would get horrifically hot and I always loved to quickly touch them JUST to see HOW hot.

After getting the tree set up, we would bring other decorations up from downstairs. Everything that was Christmas themed came out once a year. We had stuffed toys, music boxes, stockings, tree decorations, various posters, and lots of little knick-knacks. My mom would bring the boxes upstairs and we would excitedly rummage around, thrilled to find stuff that we hadn’t seen for a whole year. We handled the decorations with reverence because they always seemed more special and important than the the stuff we saw year-round.

The Christmas Eve service at church was always better than any other church service (I thought). The pews were filled, the Christmas carols were plentiful and the candles were always shimmering. Everybody was so happy to see one another as they called out Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! All the kids were squirming to get home and open their Christmas Eve gift or have dinner or just get to sleep so morning would come quicker.

I did believe in Santa Claus when I was really young but even when I didn’t, I never looked for Christmas presents in closets or under beds because the surprise was half the fun! I never wanted to spoil the surprise. Even if the presents were sitting wrapped under the tree, I never peeked or tampered. I remember waking up some Christmas Eves to go pee and stopping to sit under the tree and look at the gifts. I might have thought it was Santa or I might have known it was my mom, but either way, I loved to sit in the quiet of the house with the lights twinkling, and have a moment of peace before returning to bed. I never opened gifts before my mom said it was ok.

Seeing the goodies spread around a bulging stocking was deliciously enticing as well. I remember one Christmas in particular, opening my bedroom door and seeing my stocking on the couch surrounded by My Little Ponies. It was amazing!

As a young child, sitting around the tree with my brother, mom, and dad was always a wonderful time. My dad was almost always in good humour and full of jokes.

When I was in mid-high school, I remember thinking one December, “Wow, it’s already December 18th! Christmas is almost here and I didn’t even realize!” By that time, I was too worried about exams and assignments. Christmas was still awesome but there was no time to count down the days and make extravagant wish lists.

In University I was also worried about exams and working at my job. When I graduated and started working more full time hours, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were sometimes spent working. I still enjoyed the season but I just couldn’t wait in anticipation for a day that I’d spend working anyway.

One of the best things about having kids is to re-experience the magic of the Christmas season. I’m so excited for RJ this year because this is the first time he’s actually shown any sort of understanding and anticipation.

As the kids get older and understand more, I think the Christmas traditions are going to get better and better. I can’t wait to see everything through child-like eyes again!

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