Only one month left until Christmas!
I used to love Christmas. I loved everything from the decorations to finding the perfect gift for each person on my list. I loved spending every day from Thanksgiving to January 2nd immersed in all things Holiday. Surrounded by snow one can’t help but cuddle in to the warmth of mittens and scarves. Every glistening grain of the white stuff shouts out to hope and anticipation. Christmas lights are my favourite, (just ask anyone I went to college with). People who have been too busy to hang out the other 11 months of the year make people a priority in December. There is mail, for me, and it’s not a bill. Little traditions have monumental meaning. I used to love Christmas.
Then I stopped earning an income, had children and moved to a snowless city.
The decorations got torn down quicker than they went up. We actually put up our tree on December 23rd a few years, (and took it down December 26th), because all I was doing was shouting at the children to leave the decorations ON THE TREE. Christmas movies ceased being an escape because someone needs juice/cookies/to use the bathroom or has a zillion questions about plot/characters/random non-movie related stuff for the entire 90 minutes. Everything from parades to shopping are great ideas, until you’re actually doing them and then they’re boring/too cold/too not-as-fun-as-something-else. To me the perfect gifts were often hand-made just for the person I was inspired by. Now hand-made gifts are reserved for teachers, simply as a budgetary measure.
The office party just isn’t the same.
Buying the perfect gifts becomes a tricky balance of wants and needs and cost effectiveness. All of which is opened in a chaotic 10 minutes and most of it broken or discarded within the next 30 days.
All the things I enjoy about the holiday season have become lessons. Lessons about giving. Lessons about gratitude. Lessons about gluttony and greed. Lessons about why the special things are special. Lessons about why we don’t lick the spoon we’re making the cookies with.
I used to love Christmas.
I look forward to loving Christmas again.
If there’s one thing that parenthood has taught me it’s that there is very little instant gratification.
One holiday season the children will keep gift secrets until after the gifts are opened. One holiday season the children will reach higher on the tree than me. One holiday season we’ll all cuddle up for a Santa Clause marathon. One holiday season it will hit a little person here how blessed they are and the list for others will be longer than the list for self. One holiday season I’ll tackle that pile of recipes that are more complicated than pour, mix, bake. One holiday season there will be silent nights. One holiday season I will anticipate the arrival of the children home from school/travels/living across town.
One holiday season I will love Christmas again.
One holiday season I will realize that, maybe, I always have.