I remember when Christmas was measured on how many cool gifts you received. The first thing a friend would ask "So what'd you get?" There were times that I felt deflated at what I received when compared to their haul. I am sure I had friends that felt the same after they got off the phone with me. How grateful I am that as the years have progressed I stopped measuring my Christmas by things but rather on the experience.
The pure excitement and awe that Santa will arrive. The joy I have blackmailing my nieces in to being nice because the man in red is watching their every move. The letter carefully written to this magical man, along with cookies and of course a carrot for Rudolph.
The competitive games on the Wii fit. Sibling rivalry never dies... thank goodness!
The grown-up dinner with my grown-up friends. Seeing their families expand and realizing that highchairs will be a necessary addition next year.
And how often do I get to have a 9 night sleepover with a pretty special 8 year-old? Last night as I crawled in to bed I felt a tinge of sadness that her hand wouldn't softly touch my head or nestle in to my neck. I even longed for her kicks and bed hogging. The day after her baptism we woke up at the same time, turned and looked at each other and then laughed. Then she snuggled in and I said "I bet you won't miss me sharing your bed tonight." And she smiled and said "Nope, you snore!" Love that stinker...
Despite the ups and downs, the differences, the stress, the madness, the noise, the cooking and cleaning, the chaos, I wouldn't change it for anything. Nothing beats Mum's stuffing, the gut-busting laughter that only comes from interactions with people that have known you your whole life, the joy on kids faces as they witness the magic of the season, seeing the personal attention and detail that my very loving parents put in to their gifts and being accepted for my imperfect self. I hit it big this year.
So, what did you get for Christmas?
9 months ago