Christmas – Definitely a Time for the Children
It’s 10:00 on Christmas Eve and they still aren’t home…what’s taking them so long. I can’t fall asleep yet. After what seems like an eternity the lights go on in the garage and finally they’re here. As I peak through the window I see them hauling in bags and bags of presents. They think I don’t know they hide all the presents at Granny’s but I figured it out. After all, I looked everywhere through the house and couldn’t find anything. And…I know there is no Santa Claus. I can’t tell Clifford though…he still believes… but, he is only five years old.
That was me at the age of ten. I looked forward to Christmas so much I would be just tingling with excitement and would be so pumped with anticipation weeks ahead of time. I wonder sometimes how I survived, or rather how my mother survived. I was always the first one awake in the morning. I’d run into the living room to check on all the presents under the tree, walking around them picking out which ones were for me and which to open first. Then I’d have to go back to bed and pretend to sleep while I waited for the rest of the house to wake up. This particular year there was my sister Laurie as well but she was still only two. Too young to know what all the fuss was about. Finally Laurie and Clifford wake up and head into Mommy & Daddy’s bedroom to get them up. You always went to Daddy’s side of the bed first, because we knew not to wake up Mommy first—she’d tell us to go back to sleep. Finally, everyone’s up and ready to open all our gifts. And always, everything we asked for and even some surprises. Christmas morning was always so much fun.
Now I look back on it I wonder how our parents got through it all. We were an average family, but there wasn’t a lot of extra money and I’m sure Mom spent a lot of money let alone the whole month of December shopping and wrapping presents. And then Mom would have to prepare for the big Christmas Dinner with all the stuffing and desserts and everything else that goes along with it. And most of the time the dinner was at our home and aunts and uncles and cousins would spend the better part of the afternoon and evening. I remember it as a happy, warm and fuzzy time and I loved every minute of it.
So today, I can’t help but lament about how different Christmas is for me. Christmas is definitely a time for the children. The excitement and wonder through the eyes of a child is something that can never be recaptured. This may be the first time in my 63 years that I can honestly say I am not that excited about Christmas. Mark that one on your calendar! I never thought I’d ever say that. I’m not even excited about shopping, (which for anyone who knows me, shopping is never a problem). I have no one to buy for. Ron and I have even decided not to buy gifts for each other—we have everything we need or want. My nieces and nephews are grown to the age of knowing exactly what they want and I don’t see enough of them to know what that is. It is much nicer for them and safer for me to just give cash. Then they can buy what they want or save it for something special. With no children of our own there aren’t even grandchildren to buy for.
But, I am looking forward to the ten days off for the holidays and I love Christmas dinner and getting together with family and friends. But that’s where it ends. So I have to wonder…what’s happening to me? Where is that inner child in me gone to? How about you—do you still get excited at Christmas time?