I hear it every year… as we’re sitting around the tree, or getting our lists together.
The same story. With the same excitement. Like he’s right back to that same Christmas morning: the one with the GI Joe Aircraft Carrier under the tree… the BEST Christmas he can remember. There have certainly been memorable Christmases since, but few like those of our childhood. The gifts behind the tree. The ones that are brought up from the basement, or in from outside… just when you think it is all over.
And as as soon as that story finishes (and the one I tell about the purple & pink Huffy bike) it turns to Christmas Eve:
The ring of the doorbell. Grandparents, Aunts & Uncles, close family friends all dressed up and soon gathered together in the kitchen or around the tree as it gets later into the evening. Reminiscing about the year, and of their traditions as kids. Special drinks are poured and egg nog is a staple. Most years we bundle up and head to Midnight Mass.. and there are others when we are put to bed earlier, so Santa can make his delivery; listening to the party and watching the light under our bedroom doors. Those BIG Christmas Eve get togethers.
Because as we’ve gotten older, it has become clear it was always more about that night than the gifts the following morning. Today those memories are so vivid, and are better than any toy we could have found wrapped up with a bow.
I sincerely hope this year’s Christmas is the kind that you look back on years from now.
And if you find an aircraft carrier under your tree? Well, that’s just an added bonus.