Yeah, okay. So the magic that we all felt on that first Christmas in our memory (the one with the surprises under the Christmas tree on Christmas morning, family, the smell of turkey roasting and the thought that life was so incredibly wonderful to have all these presents...and...and.....yeah - that memory) is hard to find as an adult.
There is no real joy in wrapping Christmas gifts. Buying them is fun, but I find that even dropping something in the gift bags is tedius. I'm such a lazy wrapper that I put four of my son's small, cheap gadget gifts into one box and wrapped it all together.
I used to think that there was something wrong with my mother. She did not like Christmas. She grumbled about it all the time. I thought she either had a problem with Santa, or she didn't like the baby Jesus, but either way - to NOT like Christmas just seemed - sinful.
And yet, here I am years later making the same grumbles that used to make me gasp when I'd hear her complain. "I hate this time of year." The traffic in the mall parking lot is enough to make me want to scream, not to mention the traffic in the aisles at Wal-Mart! Oy!
Who to buy for, what to buy them, how much to spend. Whose house will we visit? Will they come here? Do I have to cook? Does that mean I have to clean off the dining room table (which we haven't used in at least a year and a half)?
We recently realized that, for the FIRST time in our 18 years of marriage, we won't be getting up Christmas morning, rushing our kids through their santa/stocking gifts while the green bean casserole heats up in the oven and then rushing over to hubby's parents to spend Christmas with that side of the family. Nor, will we be making the long drive to Kansas on Christmas Eve-Eve early morning after I've spent an entire night doing laundry (because I haven't for so long) and packing.
Nope - for the first time, we will be having Christmas at OUR house, with just US. I don't have to make turkey OR green bean casserole. I don't even have to get dressed if I don't wanna! I dont' even have to clear the table; we could eat at the coffee table in front of the t.v. like we usually do. We could.
But, I don't want my kids to have to search for that joy or fun or excitement that Christmas brings. I know it's about the birth of Christ, and all that yada yada yada. I want them to smell the turkey baking as they open their gifts. I want them to feel the grace when we hold hands and say grace at the dining room table and thank the one who made it all happen. Visa.
Okay. I could really stop there, but I can't. My baby girl was born on Christmas day, and whether she thinks it or not, I think it's WONDERFUL that she shares her birthday with the ONE. The ONE for which we celebrate the day in the first place. I thank him daily for my kids, my hubby, and this year, I'll be thanking him for the patience I know he's going to give me to get through the day without extended family.
Merry Christmas and Peace to all!