It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
I know someone that set up their tree on October first this year! I think everyone is ready for some festive cheer, a little magic, and some family time. I know I am. The house is decorated, the lights are twinkling, and the Christmas carols are sounding.
What is your favorite holiday tradition? Is it a specific dish? Ornament? Trimming your tree? A smell?
So, with my kids we have a couple of things going on Christmas morning. First, it’s my husband’s birthday. My kids didn’t run down to Santa and his elves first on Christmas morning. They wake us up and with the rest of the day lost in food, family, gifts and song, the first thirty minutes or so are devoted to Jeff and his special day.
Afterward, they sit on the steps to go downstairs but my husband gives them trivia questions they must answer to come down. Some are hard (his questions), some are easy (my questions). If they get one right the move down another step, if they get it wrong they move up a step. As they do this, we turn on lights, start coffee and cocoa -in later years’ mimosa’s- and get a breakfast casserole in the oven. Finally, they make it to the bottom and run in for their note from Santa and their stockings.
So, when my kids started middle school, they fought like cats and dogs. So much so, they got a lump of coal in their stockings that year for Christmas, and a note. In the letter, it said if you don’t work together, you won’t get your presents. Santa made a scavenger hunt, and the kids had to solve riddles and find clues together to obtain their next stocking gift, spread throughout the house. Not having the desired effect of scolding them, as the years went on, the kids loved it more and more. The riddles and clues got harder and harder, but they got smarter and smarter and can now almost solve them, even it’s only a couple of words and out in the well house.
Torture? Perhaps… but our Christmas morning wasn’t frenzied. We didn’t go from one thing to the next, barely looking or appreciating what we received. The crazy morning of unwrapping gifts, seeing what you got and moving to the next thing. From that first Christmas scavenger hunt, we take turns opening our gifts and talking about them. Maybe not as much in the beginning because we certainly had our share of distracted kiddo’s but certainly more as we’ve gotten older. Yes, my kids are twenty-seven and twenty-five and we STILL do a scavenger hunt each year, and yes, they STILL look forward to it.
Christmas is the one time of year things get to have a little magic to them.
Growing up, my mom had a little Nativity scene. I always wanted to be the one to set it up. All of her figurines were white porcelain and she had this angel’s hair for the foundation on which they all sat. To this day, I don’t know what that stuff was made out of but it was snow white and like spun glass. I always believed it was angel’s hair donated by someone watching over us. I also loved the little figurines and when I got older I wanted the same figurines. I got some very close to hers and setting them up is always a high point.
A few years ago, we moved some things out to a shed. Christmas stuff among them. Unfortunately many things were damaged, and I thought my Nativity set had been destroyed because we couldn’t find it anywhere and needed to throw away a lot of stuff. Since then I’ve tried to find something similar but I’ve not been able to find another one I liked.
We brought down all the Christmas stuff this year, including a couple of boxes we missed bringing out to the shed. In this crappy year of way more downs than ups, I opened a tub and found the little figurines at the bottom of a mislabeled box. It brought me so much joy, and happiness. So, yes I do believe in Christmas magic.
As we draw a garrote around the year and move on to hopefully a more normal and joyful one. I’m mindful of the millions of families and people that need some Christmas magic this year. There’s suffering out there… mentally, physically and financially. So, hopefully I can implore you to set aside a little time to be present with them and listen… if you can, maybe a little money or small gift, to bring a little magic to someone that really needs it, especially if their trying to figure out how to bring a little magic to their little ones.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, full of every possible joy and just a little bit of magic!