i distinctly remember a christmas eve when i was 14 or 15 years old. as we decorated the gingerbread men & read the christmas story, i wasn’t plagued with the breathless excitement that accompanied the christmases of my childhood. i had lost my christmas eve butterflies somewhere in the last 12 months.
i moaned when the alarm went off at 7:30 the next morning and tried, unsuccessfully, to convince my siblings that she should wait until 9 to wake up mom and dad. the after-christmas blues settled in immediately after i opened all of the gifts i had picked out for myself, because i was old enough to have specific taste and not need surprises.
the christmases of high school and college were enjoyable—although having a break from tests is the most prominent feature of those breaks, at least in my mind.
then i got married in september of last year. i was hopelessly in love, but completely unprepared for the changes this choice would bring. i missed my family, felt lost in my educational career, didn’t have a job, felt ostracized from my friends, and had a husband who was desperately trying to catch up after a mid-semester wedding + honeymoon, all while giving in to my pleadings to skip class and stay with me way too often.
when christmas came that year, i needed it—i think for the first time ever. it’s not that i needed a break from finals, or that i needed any new things—i needed the christmas spirit. (christmas magic, if you will.) i needed the extra reminder that He loves me & knows everything i go through. i needed that warming of the soul that you feel when you sit by the christmas tree, sing ‘joy to the world’ at church, or hear the opening song to ‘home alone.’ (don’t even get me started on my love for those movies.) i needed to feel that spirit of giving and gratitude that so many people around me emulated. i needed to hear the story of christ’s birth and start to understand how miraculous it really was.
and then i realized, as we drove back home with hearts full to the brim, that i always need this. i need to keep that part of my spirit alive that truly feels the magic of the season—the magic of memory, the magic of tradition, the magic of christ.
i am more excited for this christmas than i have been for any other, and i can only imagine how much more magic the season will hold when i have my own kids to share it with. (in approximately 27 years.)
don’t get me wrong—i still love going to the mall at christmastime, and there are a pair of shoes under my parent’s tree that i have been dreaming about for months.
but overall, i am so grateful i have been opened to the real feeling that is christmas. it is a lightness in spirit, but a deepness of feeling. and although feeling things deeply manifests itself in me by a lot of happy tears (i will forever blame my birth control) i LOVE it.
i love having a husband to share this holiday with, i love my savior, and i love this holiday!
happy christmas, harry. happy christmas, ron.