Friday, December 17, 2010

There'll be Parties for Hosting, Marshmallows for Roasting...

I looked up from my Christmas present wrapping to see my little boy sitting in the middle of a tangled mess of red ribbon.  It was wrapped around his little fingers lying in twists and turns all around him on the floor.  He beamed with happiness at his accomplishment.  While I had been busy measuring and cutting in the floor beside him, he had been busy unwinding an entire spool of ribbon in his lap. 
“Look Mommy, I have tape in one hand and ribbon in the other,” he said quoting his favorite Curious George story. 
Normally this is when my “Oh no, there’s a mess” tendencies kick in, but this time I just laughed.  We were having too much fun wrapping Mr. Alpha Male’s Christmas presents to worry about messes.  I have discovered recently that in trying to meet preholiday work deadlines, getting ready for parties, baking cookies, and buying gifts; I have forgotten to just enjoy the Christmas season.  My nose has either been in my laptop, or I’ve been scurrying around with a mile long to do list.  I have not stopped to enjoy the simple pleasure of laughing while wrapping presents or actually watching a cheesy Christmas movie on tv.  It’s an easy mistake to make, to live for the day at the end of the paper chain and not take the time to enjoy all the little links in between that make up the Christmas season.
“It’s not Christmas.” My little boy utters those words every morning when I go into his room to wake him up for the past week.  And every morning I tell him, “It’s not Christmas day, but it is the Christmas Season.”  The anticipation of Christmas Day is almost too much for any two year old to bare.  The presents, the cookies, the lights, the friends and the family that are all wrapped up into what makes Christmas the most wonderful time of the year.  But are we just counting down the days, or living everyday with the love that this season is built around?
Counting down the days…I can remember as a child making chains of red and green construction paper to symbolize the passing days to Christmas.  I would hang it on the wood paneled wall of the family room by the door to the kitchen.  Unfortunately, I don’t think my daily Christmas reminder ever made it to the big day, as I grew up with two older brothers that liked to jump and rip and tackle.  I’ve been thinking about my little paper chains this year more than ever because I am not only counting down the days to Christmas, but also counting down words left to write until I finish my book.
 I think as we get older we never really lose that sense of wonder involved with looking forward to a big box with a bright red bow under the tree on Christmas morning.  Instead, I think it is only what is wrapped up in those packages that changes over the years.  Is it simply survival of all the shopping, family visits and parties that await us under the tree?  The end of a long difficult journey of writing a book is wrapped up and waiting for me under the tree this year.  And yet, I am making an effort to experience and live everyday of the paper chain that is this beautiful season.  The end of the paper chain will be here before you know it.  What is at the end of your paper chain?  And more importantly, what should be cherished in the small loops of red and green somewhere in the middle?

Merry Christmas!


Anonymous said...

Lovely post. I had one of those moments last night that you truly appreciate as it's happening. As a kid my mom took me to see The Nutcracker every year. While I doubt the likelihood of my son going to the ballet with me on a regular basis, last night we danced in circles and laughed ourselves silly while listening to Tchaikovsky's music. It was great and he's inherited my rhythm! :)

Post a Comment