Sunday, December 12, 2010

Why I love Christmas

In the spirit of one of the greatest holiday movies of all times, A Christmas Story, I have decided to write A Theme. But instead of writing about what I want for Christmas, mine is about why I love Christmas. You see – I love Christmas. I love everything about Christmas. I love the tree, the music, the decorations inside and out, the giving and receiving of gifts, Santa, the reindeer and all the other trappings surrounding this festive holiday. Most of all I love the magic of Christmas and Santa Clause. See, I have a confession. I believe in Santa Clause. I believe with all my heart and soul that Santa exists and his purpose is to bring joy to children around the world. I don’t know if he really lives at the North Pole or has elves or flies in a sleigh with magic reindeer, but I know that Santa is real.

I consider myself very fortunate to still retain this magic and this belief. It has kept Christmas in perspective for me over the years. I am not religious so this is not about the birth of a child under a star in the dessert. However, I recognize and appreciate the magic that aspect of Christmas holds for many but I think it is for the same reason I find magic in Christmas. The baby Jesus story is about bringing hope, joy, love and peace to the world. This is Christmas. A time to sit back and enjoy hope, joy, love and peace. And maybe eat some pumpkin pie just as a topper.

So for me Christmas is magic because it has the ability to bring people together share for one day all those wonderful feelings of hope, joy, love and peace. I remember Christmas Eve as I was growing up – it was always a huge family event. Everyone would come to our house for dinner, games and, of course, a visit from Old St. Nick himself. I loved that visit. When I was very little it was so unbearably exciting to wait for Santa to come through the door with his bag of toys. As we got older we realized that Santa was a busy man so he usually got some help here from my dad but it didn’t lessen the joy of the moment. Now that I am a parent I am thrilled to watch my son anticipate the impending arrival of the jolly man in red. Yes, he is excited about receiving new toys but is that really all bad? When you think about it, he spends over a month anticipating and dreaming of Christmas morning. There is pure joy on his face – joy that is brought by the mere thought of this jolly elf. Again, I ask, is a few new toys really that much of a price to pay for a season of joy?

I am making sure to try to balance out his expectations to make my son realize its not about getting. Its about the magic. Every year we go out and buy toys for the Toys for Tots boxes. I make sure my son picks out toys and puts them in the box. At the same time we have long discussions about why these boxes are so important. I also have been conducting toy drives at work for local children in the DCF system. For two weeks my son has watched my come home from work every day with toys and presents. We talk about how these toys are going to go to children who might not otherwise get any toys on Christmas morning. Its about giving to others so that other children can have the same hope and joy.

I realize that this is why I believe in Santa. I believe in Santa enough to go out and ensure that there are toys for children. I realized that this is how Santa manages to get to all the children in one night. He has so many believers helping him out that all the children of the world who celebrate this holiday receive a visit from Santa or his helper. Santa is magic. Its not about changing the world, but about just one small moment on one day and bringing a smile to a child’s face.

My tree is up and decorated – it was such fun to sit and watch my son pick through the ornaments finding his favorites and hanging them on the tree. The train is under the tree. My son loves to run the train. The Elf on the Shelf has been making his nightly trip since Thanksgiving. The shopping is done. I didn’t go crazy and I have no reason to go to the mall. For now, I can just sit back and enjoy the season, watch all my favorite holiday movies, listen to Christmas music and watch my son experience the magic. This is why I love Christmas.

1 comment:

Pamela said...

I loved your essay. I, too, am a Christmas lover and I believe in Santa and his helpers as well. The joy of the season, the anticipation, the fun, the caroling and mostly the lights. Especially that one brave festive house out in the middle of nowwhere covered in lights.

Now that my children are grown, they are helping make Christmas dreams come true.

My daughter has limited funds, but bags of funky yarn. She makes stuffed animals to give away. My older son helped me decorate the tree and put out all his favorites. I know he dropped some cash in the Toys for Tots drum, because he's just that way. My youngest son also does his part. He shops and works really hard to make sure everyone gets something really cool that he personally picked out.

They all love the anticipation of the season, but for them, it's about the stockings. We have 8 - one for each family member (including the dog) and one for DD's boyfriend, YDS girlfriend, and one for ODS best friend. I love finding cool stuff for stockings.

May your Christmas spirit carry you through the year.