Sunday, December 23, 2012

In Pursuit of Happiness...?

As we are all aware, December 21, 2012 was rumored to be the day of our demise.  Well, the Earth is still spinning, no astroids came hurdling down to smash us to smitherines, nor did people mystically disappear leaving others to deal with God's wrath.  The Earth beneath our feet didn't crack open and suck us all in or throw others into the ocean, we are here, believe it or not, to live on.

And live we shall...

Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays. Even when I discovered that my parents were Santa, and not the fictional character that I thought him to be.  I remember it quite fondly, waking up late Christmas Eve, I think I was maybe eight.  I heard music softly playing, my Mom's laughter and my Dad's chuckle. So I uncovered myself and stepped softly to my bedroom door, where I opened it a crack to take a peek.  Of course, they were in the kitchen, to the right of my bedroom door, so I couldn't really see anything. Guttsy kid as I was, I stepped out from my door way, and I leaned out forward to see what was going on.  There they were, the kitchen table moved to the center of the room, wrapping paper and gifts layed like an explosion on the floor and chairs. Mom and Dad smiling and wrapping other unseen presents. I don't know that I was ever upset finding out that they were Santa. I just remember their smiling faces and the way they looked at each other. I remember listening to them sing and how they swayed to the music.  They had a different kind of magic that replaced the magic of Santa. It was a good memory, that I've saved tucked deep into the pocket of my brain, and I'm thankful.

I think that because of that moment, because of the magic of love, that I enjoy Christmas so much. It's not ever been so much about the presents for me, as being with my family.  I remember my Mom always complaining that nothing was ever enough for my brother. He had always wanted more, where as I, I always seemed to be happy with whatever I got.  Of course, I over heard these things spoken, another one of my creeping behind door moments, I'm sure. 

I don't know if I've done a good job passing on that magic of love at Christmas to my own children.  I know they surely enjoy those presents under the tree.  The more the better.  In fact, I know I've done a horrible job. My oldest child has started working this pass Summer, so this year he's all about buying everyone gifts.  So excited that he demanded we open a few early.  His gifts to us anyway. I, the fool that I was fell for the excitement that he had, and let them both open one gift I had nestled underneath the tree.  My youngest's response once he tore the gift of the wrapping paper free, was...."Thanks for nothing."  Talk about having the Earth crack open and suck me in.  My mouth dropped open, and then I closed it, my eyebrows furrowed together, and I said, "Now you listen to me." In my best Mom voice.

I'm sure you can guess this moment on your own.  But, we each have our own way of dealing so I'll tell you how I dealt. I told him he was rude. Unthankful and he hurt my feelings.  The reason I bought him the gift and why I thought he would enjoy it, therefore, making me happy just thinking how it would make him happy. How I don't expect gifts from them, but give them many. And this is what I get....Thanks for nothing. Well, if that's the person you're going to be when you open gifts, perhaps all those and future ones can go to children who don't get a visit from Santa or whose families can't give them a Christmas at all!! (Mind you, the whole time my voice rose until finally when I hit "all", I was yelling. - I had also turned on my heel, and stomped away from my child - like a big child myself!)

I'm sure that in the future these moments will be less.  That I can only hope that I do and say the right things to make Christmas about family and the magic of love more important than the gifts themselves.  Until then, I hope this finds you very Merry this Christmas and that you have a wonderful New Year!!

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