Christmas as a child was such a fun, exciting time. No worries seemed to overwhelm me although I had many at times, too. It just seemed that the excitement of the twinkling lights, Christmas music, cold temperatures, snow and the expectation that Santa would visit our home with gifts, which would be such a surprise.
As I think back over my young life and the excitement I had then, I cannot help but smile. It was the time of the year that was all about me, because I was the youngest and I still believed in Santa. My mind would wander as my dad would drive a car load of kids and adults down to the bakery that was many miles away and he would always take the longest route so we could see all the Christmas lights, so he said. Of course, as I grew up I learned it was to give my mom and those left behind time to set up the presents to make the excitement so much more for me and of my nieces and nephews, as our ages were quite close. I remember asking questions, how did Santa do that? All the questions that young kids ask that seem none ending. The stories that he came early as he had other homes to visit, I fell for all of their lies. Still, I laugh and smile because I was all into it. There was a joy within me.
The thought of the bakery was one of my favorite places to go, not just because the donuts were so good and they were, but to go in the back door and watch them make the donuts, after hours. To just get lost in the aroma and the thought of how it all worked behind the scenes before they popped the donuts in the showcase counter. I just found it fascinating to watch and still to this day, I like to see how things are done, no matter whether it be donuts to a big machine.
I still have memories of my sister telling me about this one man at the bakery and had me focus in on his hand. He was missing a finger or two. Yes they were missing and being the older sister, she was always one to cause me question those around me. It all makes sense now from the counseling sessions why I distrust people. Of course, it was all fun and games to her but in my mind, I took things way too serious and the donut man with a few missing fingers, were they cut off from all the machines they used. Of course, me thinking if…. they were in a donut. Oh, I could tell you stories she fed me growing up. Sisters!
This year as we all try to find the excitement of the Christmas season, it seems to take much more effort than before. It has been for me anyway but, of course, my age has something to do with it all, too. I still have yet to finish my Christmas tree, wrap gifts, etc., and tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I know it will all fall together, as it always does.
I think back and try to grasp the joy I had as a child and in some parts I do. My inner child is so desiring for some joy of the Christmas lights, snow and excitement that I have lost. Even though, my Christmas Eve or mornings as a child were fun while I believed. I have nice memories through the years of Christmas and especially with my boys. I always try to make it as exciting or more so for them and still to this day. I will do something fun and unexpected each year to cause laughter in our home. One year, I remember that I had a big box and multiple wrapped boxes inside with the gift in the smallest box. I can still remember my son opening up each box and looking at me. He loved it. This year is no different, but will be something different. One year, I tied socks individually with Christmas ribbon and stuffed them in an empty cardboard paper roll and wraped it so they would pull and pull and pull socks out. Those are some of my fun times. They know to expect something, knowing their mom will always have something up her sleeve. Yes, I do! This year is no exception.
What are your memories as a child that brings a smile to your face? What was your favorite Christmas? Did you have a gift or a toy that you loved? We all need to be reminded and know the joy within and of others, especially when things around us are not so joyous. This has been a rough year. We need to keep the joy alive and our hope that we are worth having fun and enjoying life, even in just the little things. No matter what age.