Our tree now has lights. We strung them up tonight, while Simon jumped on the couch excitedly shouting: “Our wun-uh-ful kiss-miss tweee! Our wun-uh-ful kiss-miss tweeee!” After we finished, and were vacuuming up the dropped needles, Simon changed to running around the house at top toddler speed, singing the bit of “Oh Christmas Tree” that he knows, over and over again. He is showing the same wonder and joy for Christmas time that I remember feeling as a child.
Not that I am without my own Christmas spirit in adulthood. It is just often weighed down with the tasks of the season that need crossing off of lists, as well as the stress of maintaining a budget while wishing I could give my loved ones everything their heart desires. Despite this adult responsibility and awareness, the excitement is still there, just a tad more muted by the frequent doldrums of being a grown-up. I still love plotting surprises, and making things with my own hands, and gathering to celebrate with others. Little things, like the brilliant colored lights shining all over our tree in my dim living room perk up the festive part of me. Experiencing my child’s delight each morning as we move our mouse to another square on our advent calendar stirs joy in my inner child too.
This time of year it is these little things that are the most important to me–more than the shopping, the wrapping, the questions of “What am I going to wear?” and “What food will I bring?” and “What time do we need to be there?”. The season flies by fast, but I am trying to remind myself to take my time, and to pay attention to the delightful details. My child will only be 2 at Christmas once. We have so much to be thankful for, so many blessings that can be easily overlooked if we get too caught up in chores and lists.