The Magic of the Season
Today is Christmas Eve, the penultimate event on the Christmas calendar. Today, families all over will gather together to celebrate the joy of Christmas and the special bonds that tie them together. Some of these families will be "genetic" relatives and some will be families formed not through blood, but through the bonds of love.
Christmas is an incredibly busy season. I know I have been busy-- shopping, wrapping, cooking, decorating, traveling and visiting. But, sometimes we lose sight of the wonder that is an inherent part of this season. I know I have been guilty of losing sight of this in the hustle and bustle of Christmas. For me, part of it is by design. If I occupy myself with the details of planning for Christmas, then I don't have to worry about experiencing the child size hole in our family.
Facebook is my window into the lives of many people with children. I have seen status updates for weeks about wrapping and shopping--how it will never get done, how tired parents are, how they don't know how they will find the hottest toy.
When I see these updates, I think about seeing the forrest and the trees. These parents are navigating the path in the forest, only seeing the trees that are right in front of them. They are looking for a way around the trees, a place to get back on track in the most expeditious manner possible. Christmas is an obstacle course to be navigated, not a wondrous experience to be enjoyed.
Friends sometimes comment about my holiday decor and how "that wouldn't happen if I had kids." They like to tell me the meticulous wrapping paper that has been artfully coordinated with my decor would be a bygone memory if I had a child. They explain that there is no time for making homemade truffles or pumpkin rolls if there is a little one at home. In short, others like to tell me how different my life would be if I had children. Maybe it's because they feel the need to explain why they do the things they do, or why my way is ridiculous or inferior to their "traditional" holiday.
But, I don't have the option of a traditional holiday. This is my tenth married Christmas, and each Christmas, my husband and I have believed that we would have a child soon. 2015 will be the year I resolve my infertility, one way or another. For better or for worse, 2015 is my last year of wondering and hoping without an end in sight.
Think back on the traditions you have kept in your "busy" holiday. Decorating the tree with the little one. Baking those lopsided cookies with too much icing. Standing in the line, irritated because it was taking forever for your little one to see Santa. Think about all the small moments of joy you were witness to, all by virtue of the small life that is your child.
Tonight, when you stay up late, wrapping, prepping and readying everything for Santa and the little ones, make sure you take the time to appreciate the wonder you are an innate part of. When you are searching for another set of batteries or one slat C that tab 2 should go into, think about the magic you will be creating for a little boy or girl. Think about how much someone else would give to be bleary eyed on Christmas morning from staying up too late creating memories for a child, woken my the pitter patter of little feet at an unholy hour.
Recently, someone said in passing that Christmas is all about seeing the magic through the eyes of a child. I couldn't agree more. I would give nearly anything to see the holidays through the eyes of my child. I would love to stay up late wrapping a mountain of gifts, watching my husband assemble and disassemble a confounded toy about a million times. I would bake terrible looking cookies and wrap my gifts with cartoon wrapping instead of the color-coordinated foil paper I find each year. I would give anything to have a different kind of Christmas.
But, I can't. It's not my lot in life, at least not yet. So, even if you couldn't get one last gift on the "must have" list, or the bows are not coordinated with the gift wrap, sit back and soak in the memories you are creating, the memories you are part of, the wonder you are giving a child. Live in the moment for Christmas and wrap yourself in the magic of the season. If you can't do it for yourself, then at least do it for me.