Christmas: a time filled with expectations and hope. It is the season of love, generosity, and warm, cozy feelings. It is also be the time of the year when children and grown-ups put their best foot forward in joyful anticipation of days to come.
There is nothing that can compare to a child’s unbridled enthusiasm during the days leading up to Christmas. Television shows, the Elf On The Shelf, Advent calendars, Christmas carols, candy canes, storybooks, shop windows, visiting and writing letters to Santa, and seeing the many extravagantly decorated houses, serve as a constant reminder that the big day is coming. A “sugar high” pales in comparison to the levitation that accompanies the holiday season. Times may change, but the excitement generated by children during the days leading up to Christmas, has been a constant throughout the ages.
I recently asked May and Eloise what they wanted Santa to bring them for Christmas. May quickly exited the room and ran back with her carefully written letter to Santa. Three-year-old Eloise, upon seeing her sister’s list and not one to be left out of the loop, followed her big sister’s lead and emerged with her rather lengthy list as well (mom had interpreted her scribbles lest Santa have some difficulty deciphering her list). As I read both their lists, my thoughts traveled back to many years ago, when their mother and Aunt Jessica would similarly put all of their hopes and dreams on paper, and usually Santa came through.
Then there was the year of the Cabbage Patch Dolls. Santa suffered a lot of angst that Christmas. I recall all of the hype that went into these dolls. It was marketing at its best. Every child under the age of ten wanted to “adopt” one of these rather funny looking little babies that came with a name, birth date and adoption papers. Nancy was no exception. As soon as the doors to toy stores opened, lines of determined mothers and, sometimes fathers, rushed to be among the people fortunate enough to grab, and I do mean grab, one of these much sought after dolls. I was not so lucky and as Christmas drew near, I wondered how “Santa “ would explain this to a child who put the doll at the top of her list.
Enter Marge, my good friend whom I think of every year at this time. Marge, with her generous spirit and compassionate ways knew what I was going through and somehow managed to get two Cabbage Patch Dolls, one for Nancy and one for her daughter, just in time for Christmas. To this day I don’t fully understand how she was able to procure the dolls. Then again, nothing seemed to be beyond Marge’s ability to rise to a challenge. Now, years later, as I reflect back on that Christmas so long ago, I think about how fortunate I am to have been surrounded by so many good friends over the years, friends who stood by my side as we surfed the waves of parenting.
Christmas is a time of love. It is the love that fills my core whenever my granddaughters put their little arms around my neck and give me a hug that makes my heart beat stronger and my mind travel back in time. It is a time when we somehow try to show friends and relatives just how blessed we are to have them in our lives. It is a time of miracles; the miracle of the Christ child as well as the miracle of each new life that enters our world. It is a time when this grandmother sits in the quiet of her holiday-decorated home and looks forward to the chaos that will ensue upon the arrival of her two energy-packed granddaughters. Through them I am once again able to rekindle the embers of my youth.
Merry Christmas to all!