This year I find myself filled with Christmas nostalgia. Over the past few years, I had become somewhat of a Grinch. Part of that was my backlash to the commercialism of the season. But it recently dawned on me, another part of my indifference to the holidays was simply because the magic of Christmas was gone. I miss having magical moments with my kids at Christmas. I think I always underestimated how much those family times meant to me, the handmade cards we made, the cookies and squares we baked. The years we tried and failed to make a sturdy gingerbread house. In the days we mailed parcels, the kids always decorated the brown paper wrapping with paint or markers. Even if the kids never did warm to Santa, we have a giant collection of “sitting on Santa’s knee polaroids. Even one with me 9 months pregnant.
I long for the days when Matt would try to stay awake to “catch” Santa. I will never forget the year Santa actually walked in the door and gave Matt the the fright of his life. I miss the children standing on chairs hanging the ornaments, the beady mouse from Teresa, the ornaments we made in Moose Jaw and all the school project decorations, made with love and recycled materials. It is always fun unpacking the ornament box, and travelling down memory lane, “Oh that’s the one that was a gift for Sarah’s first Christmas”. Quite early on, we did not want the sibling’s gifts for each other to be overlooked amongst Santa’s deliveries, so after a big meal Christmas Eve, or the nativity play (depending on the year) the kids gave their thoughtfully chosen gifts to each other. That was a tradition that I particularly loved.
The 25th does not hold a great deal of tradition since we changed venues too often, sometimes we packed the car and headed to Grandma’s and other years we opted not to travel and spend the whole day being kids. Those were generally the years I was expecting, since we have 3 winter babies.
I envy people who will have a magical child-filled Christmas, cherish those times, as they will be gone far too soon.
In the meantime, I will be nostalgic for the Christmas’s past, and embrace the traditions we continue. I am nothing, if not adaptable. And there are the traditions that have stuck (I guess that is the very definition of tradition- duh!!) Family boxing day, observing Sinterklaas day, Chocolate letters, Shortbreads and Bernie squares, watching Love Actually, hand writing my Christmas cards, playing 1000 and board games. The kids aren’t kids anymore, but I treasure every minute with them, as we continue family traditions and perhaps create some new ones along the way.
I for one, am looking forward to lots of lights and decorations, sporting an apron for baking (and I hope Lyss is there to help), playing Johnny Mathis as I write my annual correspondence, and skyping with my girl across the country. It is not the same Christmas magic but it will still be wonderful and full of love and laughter with those near and far.
Merry Christmas !!!