“Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas… around which the entire kid year revolved.” -A Christmas Story
Yes, so true. As a kid, Christmas was everything. It was packing up the station wagon and driving our family of six from Missouri to Connecticut to be with my aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. And for some reason, my only memory of the trip is my cousin, Holly, getting a Rainbow Brite pony. I, did not.
It was getting the best Christmas present ever, my tiny Calico kitten, whose sweet patchy face popped out of a perfectly wrapped box revealing a holiday surprise I’ll never, ever forget. And it remained with us for the next 21 years.
It was dancing the night away to the golden oldies that filled our jukebox with our best family friends, the Andres’, down in our basement.
It was taking the trip downtown to St. Louis Center to see the Christmas Bear display then waiting in line to sit in Santa’s lap.
It was waiting in a line of neighborhood traffic to get a glimpse of the Minor’s house, a family in our parish who decorated their home in Griswold-like proportions.
Yep, it was pretty much everything.
But, as time went on, and I grew up, the magic of Christmas started to blur. I still enjoyed it , especially as the youngest of four, it meant that all of my older siblings would be back from college for a few weeks. This gave me a break from the suffering of an “only child.” And, when I was in college, or moved away for a couple of years in my 20’s, it was a nice reason to be home again. But, after a while, the thrill started to fade. It became a routine.
But, suddenly, it’s back.
Marco’s only two, so he’s still on the verge of really getting it. But we’re close. Having kids means the spirit of Christmas has returned. As our first Christmas as a family of four, the memories are being made.
It’s the excitement of opening a mound of presents in your PJs, underneath that twinkling tree.
It’s getting the chance to test out your cousin’s awesome gift. Sorry you didn’t get a Corvette, Marco. I know know how it feels.
Having kids really does change things. And like so many other things in our lives, for the best. While I’m glad that the next Christmas is 11 months away, I look forward to knowing the excitement surrounding it is finally back.