Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve...

Sugar plums replaced with ipods, iphones, ipads

I think I have always loved Christmas Eve even more than Christmas Day. We never opened any presents on the Eve. There was lots of eating and watching Christmas shows and family laughing. But what I loved the most was the anticipation of Christmas Day. I think looking forward to the presents was as much, if not more fun, than opening all the boxes. When you think about it, the opening only takes a few minutes and then it’s all over, like a firecracker. But days and nights of hopeful anticipation, that what you wished for might be under the tree, was magical. 

There is such a build up to Christmas Day. It starts right after Thanksgiving and it’s a month full of shopping, wrapping, meal planning, making travel plans…and all for one day. I remember when my kids were little, how much they looked forward to Santa coming. They were so excited about their school Christmas parties and the gifts they made to bring home. I loved those days. Their excitement was contagious and seeing their smiles and hearing their laughter made every bit of preparation worthwhile. The last of it was when they put out milk and cookies for Santa…and in later years an apple for the reindeer. 

I remember how I would take them up to bed on Christmas Eve, tuck them in tight, kiss their little heads and tell them the faster they went to sleep the sooner Santa would come. They never gave me any trouble. Thank God too, because my husband and I would be exhausted and needed to get the gifts under the tree so we could get some sleep ourselves. The girls would always be up at the crack of dawn and run into our rooms anxious to go down and open their gifts.

This morning the girls are still tucked in and sleeping. There is no excitement for tomorrow. They already got their new smart phones two weeks ago because I refuse to deal with technology any more. That was their main gift and I feel bad because I couldn’t surprise them with it. I guess I won’t be able to surprise them with much of anything any more. They like to pick out their own clothes and jewelry and just about everything else. I did get them a few little things, but when I look at the few boxes under the tree, it looks pathetic compared to what used to be there Christmas Day. Now, they are doing the shopping and wrapping and filling up the tree with presents. I will be the one who has to wait till tomorrow to open my gifts, but what I really want will never be found under any tree.

My gift won’t be in a box, wrapped with paper and bows. No. It will be the same gift I have gotten every year since the day my girls were born. It’s the most precious gift a mother could have on Christmas Day. I will have my girls home with me, laughing, eating, opening gifts, telling stories, making jokes. I’ll be able to hug and kiss them all I want and tell them how much I love them. I will cuddle with them and stroke their cheeks and remember all the Christmases past. Christmas where their eyes gleamed with delight. Christmases where my two year old said to me, “I’m tired of opening presents.”  Christmases filled with doll carriages, Barbies, baby dolls, games, leggos, potato heads, bicycles, Easy Bake ovens, Play Doh, cds, dvds, walkmans, TVs, VCRs, Wii, laptops, ipods, ipads, smart phones… Technology will be the death of Santa.

I guess “Santa” had a good, long run at our house. Time for him to hang up his jacket and take off his boots and wait for the next generation of babies who believe and wait in anticipation for his visit. 

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