I’ve always loved Christmas. Having the family all together for merriment and mayhem is not an unusual occurrence in my world but it always seems to be better at Christmas.
I remember one Christmas (when my siblings and I were all in our late teens/early twenties) when my parents bought us new pillows and decided to get creative with the gifting. We were told that Santa had left us a present but had stashed it in the camper parked in the barnyard. You would think that we would have been able to act a little more mature but I’m pretty sure at least three of us ended up running outside and across the yard in our bare feet! Of course, hilarity ensued. We wound up having a snowball fight and scaring the crap out of the dog.
One Christmas Eve we ended up sitting around the table at midnight full of food and drinks listening while I read aloud from a George Carlin book that had been loaned to us. I do believe that night was the first time that I had ever said such naughty words aloud in front of my mother but it was okay because they were someone else’s words!
This year I wasn’t sure what our Christmas plans were. With the new housing arrangement going on we hadn’t discussed which side of the house would be the focal point this year. As time went on it got more and more clear that we would be celebrating the season in the new part of the house. Notwithstanding our deplorable lack of decoration! That was fine with me, I had lots of time to get ready.
Until I didn’t. Last week my little guy was admitted to hospital with pneumonia. He and I spent three days camped out trying to get him breathing properly again. Luckily, he’s a strong kid and we were able to come home last Friday. I had been getting caught up in buying presents for the boys and wanting to host a wonderful Christmas for the family until I spent the night watching my baby struggle to breathe.
Now, I’ve cleaned the house (really well, actually but that was just to show my husband that I can when I absolutely have to) and got enough food together to feed an army but I’m not worried at all about the fact that I have not purchased a ton of gifts.
As we grow up and our lives change it gets more and more difficult to get the whole family together in one place at one time. This year I am much more grateful that we will all be together for even a little bit of the holiday. That’s the most important thing. The trappings of the season keep retailers in business but they don’t mean Christmas to me anymore, my outlook on that changed the minute the doctors told me that they were trying to stop my son’s lungs from shutting down.
Maybe next year I’ll get sucked back in to buying a lot of presents that nobody needs (but everybody wants!) or maybe I’ll be able to fight the urge but for right now, as my heart still stops every time I hear that little body cough, I’m prepared to be blissfully happy in the presence of all my family.
Now, I must go and clean the one thing I forgot (myself, I need a shower!) then I shall pour myself a glass of something festive and watch anxiously out the window for everyone to come home.
I want to wish you all the merriest of Christmases, the happiest of New Years and the healthiest of holidays. Enjoy every minute that you get to spend with the ones you love and treasure the memories that you make.