That doesn't mean I didn't love Christmas or experience the joy and wonder of the season. I would go with my dad to Joliff's Nursery to pick out our Christmas tree. Each year we'd try to get one bigger and better than the last. The biggest I remember had to have a rope tied around it and nailed to the wall to keep it upright. Classic Jones Christmas. My dad always decorated the tree with way too many icicles, and as a cat-loving family we'd often have cats regurgitating foil into the new year.
I remember lying in bed on Christmas Eve, my eyes wide open and heart pounding, certain I'd never fall asleep. I'd wake with a start early in the morning and bound out of bed. We always celebrated Christmas absurdly early in my house. My parents were wonderful to indulge us at some ungodly hour, like 3 or 4 am, to open presents. My family wasn't rich, but I never remember wanting for anything on Christmas morning.
Having a small child brings back that childlike Christmas joy. Will loves the trees and the decorations. Tonight on the way home from school he was quietly singing Jingle Bells in the back of the car. He has so many questions about Santa, and decided recently to change the gift he originally requested of Santa (naturally after "Santa" has ordered it and had it shipped to Grandma's for Christmas).
|Here with the big guy|
I found myself in the holiday spirit really early this year, but as the season got into full swing I've had a harder time keeping my grasp on the magic. I've let life and busy push away the holiday cheer despite my best efforts to hold on.
I've always been an early riser, and I remember as a kid sitting in our living room before the sun came up with only the tree lit. I've always loved that quiet time when it feels like I have the world to myself. When my son was two weeks old I sat by the tree with him, exhausted, elated, and grateful. In the three Christmases since I've not slowed down enough to do it. Here I am, a mere six days from Christmas, and the season is slipping away.
I've never believed in Santa, but I believe in the magic. I believe that Christmas is an enchanting time that awakes the child in all of us. For the next six days I will listen for the bells. I will sing carols, wrap presents, and take in the silence by the light of my beautiful tree. I will believe.