Facebook has a way of reminding you of the good bad and ugly that you’ve lived throughout your years on social media…a ghost of Christmas past if you will. All of your words and pictures return to either delight or humiliate you and usually we pick the most savory to re-share.
Well, I’m here to blow the lid off of my perfect seasonal scenarios, my humorous holiday cards and my chosen merry memories. I have re- read my past and every year my comments seem to consist of the same seasonal sulking :
“I can’t wait for Christmas to be over.”
“I’ve put off shopping again because I’m dreading the crowds”
“I have a Christmas food hangover. I will be so glad to get back into a routine ”
And … many other bah-humbug variations of my Scroogie self.
The truth is, I’m not here to make it right. I’m not here to tell you how I was mistaken and how I’ve suddenly seen the twinkly lights. The truth is something different all together.
The afore mentioned nasty nuggets were BC (before children) and now things are a a bit altered. Now, I would give up all of my everything just to watch the glitter in Calvin’s eyes that shines brightest during Christmas. Judah doesn’t really understand Christmas yet and Augie is still trying to adjust to life outside the womb….but Calvin, with his Christmas concerts, and constant questions about his beloved Rudolph? Be-still my heart. It’s freaking intoxicating. I love the way he tries so hard to be good because Santa is watching (our shelves don’t even have an elf yet) and how he believes in every part of the season with his whole damn heart. The way he loves baby Jesus and His story is special and spectacular. Living Christmas through his eyes is truly my favorite gift of all. Unfortunately there is a cynic in me. I recognize how with every passing season, his beautiful belief will fade the tinsiest bit and It makes my heart hurt.
Then there is the family and friend part of Christmas. I love how everyone is kind and how we all dole out more hugs and holiday cheer. There is so much joy in the Christmas parties where everyone shows up with their best clothes and best foot forward. I love all of the togetherness and trading stories of tradition.
It’s painful making sure everybody gets the pretty card and the perfect gift. But, I am reminded of no pain no gain and how the gains are so enchanting. It’s a lot of work cooking the most delicious culinary creations and preparing for the parties. It is so much getting ready that sometimes I’ve exhausted myself before the whole celebration has commenced.
Preparation steals my zero credit card balance, costs me hours of sleep and takes time that I could have spent snuggling my little baby as I watch him growing right in front of my busy eyes… But somehow I am ready or I have to be ready because it’s here and the traditions are about to keep traditioning… And I am tired or maybe I’m not. It doesn’t matter because either way it all still flies by in a hazy blaze of colorful paper.
As I trekked the remnants out for garbage day this morning, I felt the achy pang of it all coming to an end. My perfectly wrapped gifts were now shreds of boxes and paper in a heap at the end of the driveway. My family is torn apart like the paper as my parents head to Florida for four months and my in-laws follow closely behind. We will not all be together again for a long time. And I can’t help but think that as everyone gets older, we will have a merry little Christmas next year ONLY “if the fates allow.”
So this Christmas holds hints of my disenchanted Facebook posts from Christmas past. It’s so much good and so much work and then it’s gone. I feel the void that I’ve felt on Christmas night since I was a kid…. When I would climb onto the top bunk in my brother’s bed because it all just felt so lonely when it was over.
I feel that now and I feel something else too. I beg the universe and fate and God and whoever will listen to let the Christmas spirit stay still just a little bit longer. I’ll take the rushing, and spending and lack of sleep if it all just stays still. I hate letting go. I hate letting go of childhood magic and warm fuzzy family time. I hate it more than filling out address labels and fighting crowds. That memory maker that is Christmas has me all tangled up in the lights and the low and I wonder how I can just make it all last. I know everyday can’t be Christmas but I will try my damnest to put Christmas in everyday. It truly is so very worth the work. So, If you need me I’ll be handing out extra hugs, spreading cheer and hanging on to idealistic nostalgia for dear life.