Sunday, January 6, 2013

~I Still Believe...

Every year we run around, worrying and stressing...making lists and checking them twice (or thrice for some of us).  We go to the store one more time because we forgot cream cheese in order to make just one more dish.  Just in case some company shows up.

Did I remember that one particular thing for Joey?  And what if Santa forgets that all-important item for the stockings.....so I get it anyway, just in case.  We spend so much time getting prepared, decking the walls and trimming the tree...the lights must go up.  And we can't forget the fudge.  Does it not seem like we spend all year getting ready for this one day?

And then finally we wake up, open our presents and it's over.  Does anyone else feel that great heave of disappointment that all of our expectations and wishes once again did not reach our magical standards?

Why is that?  We already know that Christmas doesn't come from a store.  The Grinch taught us that.  And thanks to Charlie Brown we know that it's not about the lights and the glitter.  But there is a definite magic to the air as Christmas approaches.  People that have pushed passed me every other day of the year with a grumpy busyness, all of a sudden slow down and return my smile.  And my heart sighs.

All of the shows and movies during the holidays are about Christmas miracles, bad people turning good...and whatever our hearts desire becomes a possibility if only because Santa is on his way.  Himself and I found that every Christmas movie we watched caused the tears to overflow.  Even the commercials were having the same effect on us.  The Hallmark Channel commercials were like mini movies on their own and we had to have our own supply of kleenex nearby.

Maybe it was because of the time of the month. (for me, not Himself)  Maybe it was because we're both far away from 'home' and 'family'.  Maybe it was because we wish it were that easy to just wish on the Christmas star or a holiday snowflake before it lands and all our hopes & dreams come true.  Maybe it's because we miss our Moms.  I miss the smell of the turkey cooking on Christmas Eve.  My Mom coming out with a tiny dish of turkey and stuffing, dripping with butter so that we could have a little pre-tasting of what was to come.

It seems harder every year to keep the spirit of Christmas alive.  Especially since my children are all 'too old to believe' anymore.  I'm 42 and I still believe.  I remember clearly the Christmas that I made the mistake of snooping.  I found the stash in my Mother's closet.  I was so excited, finding the goodies that I had hoped for.  But I don't think it was until Christmas morning that I realized....those gifts under the tree tagged 'from Santa' were the same that I had already discovered in my treasure hunt.  I'm not sure what upset me more....that my Mother was in fact Santa....or that I had ruined the surprise of all my gifts in one fell swoop.  By my snooping I had ruined my entire Christmas.  I didn't realize it at the time, but Christmas would never be the same to me...again.  All these years later, I still remember how that felt.  And I've explained it to my own children so that they would understand the dangers of hunting.  

I think I've done a pretty good job.  Since this was our first Christmas with all 3 children no longer believing. And they being 14, 18 and 21....I was happy I managed to keep the magic alive as long as I did.  And although 'Santa' is no longer filling the stockings in our house (for now..) I look forward to the day that my grandchildren are hanging their own little stockings and we can re-light the magic for another generation.

In the meantime...I will hang onto my belief...and continue to spread the Christmas cheer as widely as I can.  And in the words of Buddy the Elf...'the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.'

Wishing you all your hopes & dreams in 2013.