Jan 1, 2011

A Few Cliche Thoughts on Christmas Eve

 Originally posted on Facebook 24 Dec 2010

The little kids are now in bed, after a very excited afternoon. It took two or three tries to get them to stay there, too. As I sit here, a Christmas movie is on TV, a fire crackles next to me, and across the room a decorated tree casts its light across the floor and ceiling. Yet, I feel as if something is missing.

I really do enjoy being a "grown-up" this year, don't get me wrong, but watching the kids excitement reminds me that they have something I don't. They still feel the magic, I suppose. That's not to say that I'm not feeling it, but...I'm not. Well, I wasn't. Then I saw the kids. I saw them rushing to get ready for bed, getting their jammies on faster than ever, rushing to their beds and demanding to be tucked in. It's a fantastic thing to watch, but it's not the same.

A few short years ago, that was me. Making sure, and checking again and again that we left cookies and apples for Santa and the reindeer. Even after Santa, that magic was there. As time passed, however, I grew up. I stopped playing with toys so much, stopped wanting so many things for Christmas, stopped being surprised by what I found under the tree. The magic faded.

Now, though, I can feel a different sort of magic, by watching the joy on the faces of my cousins, Xander and Kennedy, and my sister, Lillie. As they sleep, I don't feel that old ignorant bliss anymore. The holidays are still the same, but I am different.

I don't believe in Santa anymore. I've gotten to the point where seeing my mom and aunt tell the kids about Santa bothers me. It feels like lying. Presents under the tree seem thin and superficial, and as I get older, I want to give something more.

Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays, along with Thanksgiving. Not because of presents, but because of the immaterial things. Family is the most important part of the season, to me. This is the one part of the year we all get together and get along. Even my brother and I get along this time of year (kinda). This idea then extends to everyone, to the universal human family. Peace on Earth and goodwill to men take over, and the spirit of giving inspires the "real meaning of Christmas"

The idea of the holidays that I held as I child has vanished, along with the silly toys under the tree. A new idea eclipses it, though: a more mature and fuller understanding of the reason for the season.

I hope everyone has a merry Christmas this year, and all of the other holidays too. And try to remember amidst all of this gift giving and silliness that there is good intention underneath it all. Let the children open their gifts and love their presents, and let us who know the greater goodness be merry.

Merry Christmas, to all of my sisters and bothers out there :)

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