When I was a little girl Christmas was magical. The lights on the porches, decorations in the park, Santa riding on the back of a Fire Truck handing out candy canes to all the kids in town, truly the stuff of dreams, but it was real, every slice of it.
Now, when it came time to carry on traditions with our own kids, that magic was hard work. There was a tree to pick out and bring home tenuously balanced on the roof, tied with twine the kid at the stand did for us. Then we had to decorate the tree. For this tradition, I have been gifting my girls ornaments for years that they can carry with them to their own home one day. In our home, Santa is real, please don’t tell me otherwise for I truly believe in the magical, generous, jolly old elf. My husband and I would stay up for hours wrapping gifts and assembling toys, tip toeing past the kids doorways to set out the gifts. I always made sure a few were from St. Nick. Stepping back and gazing at that tree every year with my husband, the presents arranged, the stockings overflowing, made me the happiest.
The children have grown up now and in their place are two beautiful young women, their whole lives ahead of them. I have never been so proud. This part of life is beginning to change. Those ornaments I’ve been picking out for years will soon leave for their own homes. This Christmas Joy is bittersweet. I look at my family now and know those magical Christmas nights with my husband holed up in his office wrapping presents are behind us. Something new lies ahead.
So, I’m wiping my tears and pulling up my big girl pants. Time to gather myself for the next adventure. There will be fewer chickens but more open road. My toy building days are done, for now. Until then, I can think of nothing better than settling into the next Season of life.