“Every Christmas is better than the Christmas before,” Laura thought. “I guess it must be because I’m growing up.” (from By The Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder)
When I was a child, Christmas was looking forward to early release from school, going to Mumsie and Pops’s house an hour and a half away, and spending the week in the coziness that was their home. We would help Mumsie bake and she would let us eat the extra pie crust, lick the icing beaters, and other sweet priveleges. Pops would joke that he was going to try to catch Santa coming down the chimney. Christmas Eve, we would hear my dad read the Christmas story from the book of Luke, then open our gifts from each other. Then the four cousins would head upstairs to bed while the grown-ups stayed up making merry sounds we could hear below. All night long, my cousin Adam would wake us up each hour to tell us how many hours we had left until morning. When we woke up, we would gather on the stairs for a sleepy, messy-haired picture before heading down to see what Santa left in and around our stockings. Afterward we would have an amazing breakfast prepared by our dads and everyone would spend the day just enjoying each other and eating leftovers, sneaking out to the porch to raid the pie table pretty regularly. I probably couldn’t have imagined anything better.
But now…oh my word. Now I have a sweet boy. My son, who hangs all of the Christmas ornaments on the lowest branch of the tree…who begs and pleads with big blue eyes for one more cookie, and then one more…who loves to sing the “rum-pa-pum-pum” part of The Little Drummer Boy…who asked me if he could have a Christmas pinata (???)…who wants to pray for not only our family members and their dogs each night, but also the drummers in the Christmas parade…who finds delight in absolutely everything…who today said to me, “I want to watch Charlie Brown while I snuggle wif you, mama.”
Maybe the only thing better than being a child at Christmas is having a child at Christmas time. We are having so much fun. It just gets better and better.