Hullo bloggy peeps (or at least those few of you still stuck at work and unable to begin your merriment just yet).
Today is one of the 'sacred' days in my world. Today is Christmas Eve eve. It is the day before my favorite day of the year and the day before, the day before the favorite day of the year for most children in the free world. I say 'most' only because there seems a large amount of stoutly religious folk that do not celebrate the birth of Christ, but seem to join in with the more Pagan celebration. No offense was intended, only an observation from my tiny little corner of the pumpkin patch.
In commenting on one of my favorite blogs this morning, it got me to thinking. (I KNOW - right??? scairt me too) Many of us have blogged about the stresses of the holidays. Not to mention the additional strain that can be associated with cramming families into tight quarters with the expectation of making happy memories - only to (in many cases) fail miserably. It is a time when the ghosts of loved ones passed linger in the corridors of our hearts, leaving us nostalgic and missing them terribly. A time of year where the inability to be near those you hold most dear - whatever the cause .. be it war, distance or even a rift in your relationship - brings that sense of loss rushing to the surface. It's a mixed bag, for certain. Costs too much money, creates havoc in the 'routine' and often ends with many of us feeling like an overstretched balloon with all the air let out.
But - what about the magic? I can't claim to be an overly religious person. Honestly, if I had to stake my belief anywhere it would likely not be in a Christian camp. I try to teach my children the things I was raised to believe, namely because it is all I have ever known. I know what the 'reason for this season' is ... but I can not deny the magic. Those moments - so pure. Christmas Eve ... my angels sleeping in their beds after nearly having to drug them with 'growed-up' eggnog to get them there. Their excitement so near the surface, you can almost see it glowing just beneath their flesh. Caught up in a whirlwind of awe, childish greed and wonderment ... fueled by the excitement of family near and the copious amounts of sugar they had consumed prior to bed. The exquisite quiet that settles over the living room once Santa has come and the stockings topple with their burden. The glow of the tree and the spice scented candles illuminating the decidedly ordinary room on any other day. We'll sit ... if only for a few moments - me and the love of my life ... admiring the work we have done, enjoying some eggnog and each other's company in a sleepy fog... until we amble off to catch a few winks before dawn when our imps will descend the staircase and be drawn like moths to flame into the land that Santa remembered.
I seldom sleep well on Christmas Eve. I revert to an excited child myself. The first Christmas with Stretch - I woke her up... early - she was only a week shy of turning a year old. My mother made fun of me for the next six months ... I think every year except last year, I have been the first to rise on Christmas morning. I'll get up and start coffee and tea ... perhaps make some eggnog. (It is possible that Shorty will beat me this year. She is so excited, she vibrates when the notion takes her.) If I am lucky enough to be first on the scene ... I will undoubtedly be whisked back to a time when life was seen not through the eyes of an adult, but through the eyes of a child. In my mind's eye, there will be a faint golden sparkle about the world ... thoughts of Santa and his helpers scampering around my living room the night before - dropping the light dusting of magic from their bags as they went about their work. I'll relive those mornings from so long ago when my biggest worry in the world was how soon my mom could get herself presentable so my sissies and I could pounce...
By then, if not sooner - I'm certain my children will have broken my revelry ... but even then ... to watch their eyes - big as saucers as they take in the results of all the hard won preparation ... it's for those moments of nirvana that I am most grateful. A few moments per year so powerful, they are reborn again and again. That's what Christmas means to me.
With that, I wish all of you a most happy and safe Christmas ... I wish you those moments - no matter how fleeting and it is my hope that you will revel in them as I do, refueling yourself for the next 364 & a half days until they come again.