**WARNING: Not for younger readers**
Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I love it all, from baking too many cookies, to driving around just to see the lights in the neighborhood, to finding the perfect gift for my family. I LOVE the smell of cinnamon and walking through a tree lot with Noble Firs. I hope for cold weather so we can light up a fire in the chimney (which we can actually do in the new house). I wait to catch all the old Christmas shows on TV, like “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and I look forward to finding the most obnoxious Christmas cards in hopes of shocking my family come Christmas morning. It’s all the little things that add up to fun! And of course, PRESENTS! Who can forget that?
It doesn’t hurt that it also means I have 2 weeks off of work. Hey, what’s not to get excited about? You don’t work for a church or university where you get the luxury of 2 weeks off at Christmas? I apologize, really. But my guess is that 2 weeks is more than made up in the size of your salary and bonuses. Throw me a bone.
Anywho, as I was saying….I love Christmas. That is until this year, when I killed it.
Last week I pushed the issue and decided it was time to have “the talk” with D about Santa. He’s in 6th grade, and he’s still waiting on his growth spurt, and frankly, I was afraid he might say something about Santa at school and get teased or worse, get the snot beat out of him.
We sat down as a family for the discussion….I couldn’t pull the plug, so Scott helped me find the right words. D was sitting on my knee, and when the truth came out, I looked at him and saw tears welling up in his eyes. That’s when I knew I killed Christmas. Or at least the magic of it.
One of the things I love about D is his joy for life and his belief that the world is filled with good. He is very literal and thrives on learning “facts.” Christmas was one of those magical things that he didn’t know the real “facts” about, yet the season still shined bright in his excitement and innocence. There was something joyous about knowing the magic of Santa could still happen in our house.
A few days later, when he was at his dad’s house, I looked around at all the decorations I had put up and wondered, would D still have the same excitement for Christmas that he did? Or would he, like the other cynical teenagers, just view it as a day to get stuff? I don’t mean that in a mean way, more in the fact that they don’t see it as a magical day anymore. They are 16 and 15 – magic would be if their smart phones went on and on without ever needing to be plugged in.
I’ve baked dozens of cookies already. I’ve watched Elf, The Grinch and Rudolph. I keep moving Stevie the Elf, as if there’s still magic in that little freak. I do all this, all the while worrying that I’ve killed Christmas for D. Or maybe I’m worried I’ve killed it for myself.
This year’s been a hard one. My dad is still battling cancer, my best friend lost her brother recently to cancer, there’s been a lot of sadness. I think we all deserve a little Christmas magic.
So, I will continue on in my quest to keep the magic alive. There will be baking galore – the beauty is, my family eats as fast as I bake. Hopefully some of the kids will want to sit down and watch Charlie Brown’s Christmas, National Lampoon’s Christmas and A Christmas Story with me (ok, they might not have the patience for all 3). And maybe I can drag them out of the house to go look at lights, be it in our neighborhood, down at Santa’s Wonderland, or, stretching it, in my sister’s neighborhood where they go all out. And of course, there’s Christmas Day and PRESENTS!
Now, if the magic will just hold out and keep everyone free of illness for the holiday!