CHRISTMAS, LIKE LIFE, IS WHAT YOU MAKE OF IT
Everything has wonder through the eyes of a child
Each year, I find it more and more difficult to find that magic that once filled me from the day after Thanksgiving until well after the last present was unwrapped on Christmas morning.
As I get older and there are no children in my house to feed my enthusiasm, I am growing more and more similar to my Hum Bug husband. He claims to despise Holidays and birthdays and any manner of celebration. He rarely buys me presents but instead tells me to get whatever I want, within reason and budget, and I am the same with him now, after many years of trying to change his lack of appreciation for the surprise. He once dropped me off at one of my favorite thrift shops and as I was digging through a pile of $.50 t-shirts, returned, and handed me a pair of diamond earrings he’d seen and thought I would enjoy. He is spontaneous and loving so I have no reason to complain, only to adjust my expectations for tradition.
I find it difficult though, to decorate our home with garland and shiny spheres of red and gold, burn candles that smell of apple pies baking and play Christmas carols knowing I will be the only recipient of pleasure. Literal weeks of baking and candy making have been reduced to some slice and bake cookies and a box of chocolate covered cherries or store bought pretzels covered in white chocolate. I send electronic Christmas cards, shop almost entirely on line and buy as many gift bags as possible to avoid wrapping presents, this never being one of my talents or joys.
And then a miracle happened. Not one of the magnitude of the birth of our Lord by any means, but a miracle none the less. A baby was born – child of my child – so precious and sweet it was all I could do not to smother her with kisses and hugs. This child has put the wonder back into my life, every day, not exclusive to Christmas.
We explore my back yard and find flowers that, when blown upon, shoot off tiny parachutes that drive her Grandpa mad and insects that we pick up, inspect, name and release back into their world. Through her eyes, rocks become treasure found, to be kept in a bowl in the bay window of our kitchen. Leaves and grass are food for her horses and dinosaurs. We have tea parties with some twenty-plus stuffed animals, each of which is served with great care from a large bucket of plastic foods. We dine with them and drink from cups and bottles that do not quench my thirst but that she proclaims “D-lusEous!” We sing off key and paint each others faces. When my memory fails me, as it often seems to do of late, or I can’t find my glasses which are usually hooked to my shirt, she pats me, “Silly ol GA, it’s ok – I forget too sometimes,” and hugs away any doubt that I am a worthy playmate.
Because of the lack of room and the five cats that found us and claimed our hearts, I still only put up a very small tree and a few decorations. But, ever accepting and full of wonder, this package of love and joy assures me everything is just right. And looking at it through her eyes, I have to agree.