Anyone who has had a child, from the minute they learn that he or she coming, the excitement flourishes.
The moment the baby is born is a miracle. The emotion is overwhelming. At that very second, we look into their eyes and it is like the angels open the heavens and sing a magical song that instantly transfers our heart and soul and dreams as a blessing into that little person. It is a moment that stays with us for the rest of our lives. It is then that many of us discover the true joy that comes from denying one’s self for another.
From that point on, every moment becomes a milestone. Every laugh, every movement, every dirty diaper, every sleepless night all is for this great purpose. As that baby develops, new ideas and visions come for the future of that child. We begin to fondly wonder in excitement about what the future holds like every next day we are going to wake up to a new Christmas Morning. We start to guess what presents will be opened, we anticipate the smiles the giving the receiving, the whole experience that invokes the nostalgia that we cling to and will hope remains at tradition for an eternity. We know there will be socks and underwear along the way, but we are really holding on for the big stuff; the shiny new bike, the video game system, the first steps, the moment they say mommy or daddy, the first time they walk up and snuggle in our lap, the first day of school, proms, the weddings and beyond. Christmas is forever. Who knows what gift is yet to open, our kids could be doctors, lawyers, president, a teacher, anything and have children of their own. We may be able to be called our own cute little grandparent name someday.
Countless little moments of joy build-up and our expectations develop, we get a little comfortable with it, a little cocky. In our minds, we have been down the road a thousand times. Our family does the best Christmas.
Then, one night as we wake to another bright Christmas Morning things and change very suddenly. Someone taps us on the shoulder and tells us that Christmas Morning no longer what we expect. It is simply different. The colors are different. The bright red and green and gold are replaced by tans and grays, maybe some blues. There is still beauty in it, but you just have to hold it in the right light. The boxes under the tree have some odd, unfamiliar shapes. There is still something in there, but we suddenly begin to look at Christmas from now on from a little different perspective.
Wow. How should I react to that?
I don’t want to be ungrateful, but this is not the Christmas I envisioned. It may be still OK, after all this is still my child whom I love with all my heart, but this is not what I signed on for. Instead of proms and careers, I might be lucky if my child ever says “I love you” or has a best friend. He may be talking to himself all day. Maybe he will count things like on that movie I saw with Tom Cruise. Maybe my daughter won’t get married or get to go to prom. Maybe I don’t get to be a grandparent. Do we still get family vacations? Why did this happen? Who’s idea was it to change Christmas?
Does this mean that Christmas will never be the same? I know, maybe I will just pretend not notice. Someday, I will learn to like it. I will hang out with some friends who do Christmas the old way. That’s it, maybe if I do that, everyone in my family will want some of the old traditions back and we will get back to business as usual. Are we at least going to do stockings? I liked Christmas the way it was.
Is this OK? I mean, we went so long and Christmas morning kept coming. How could I be so selfish? Maybe I am spoiled. Why did I get so caught up in this Christmas thing? What did I do to deserve this? Everything was going as planned. I thought it would last forever. I don’t even know how to cook for this type of holiday. What do they want from me? Everyone seems to be on board with this new Christmas but me. In fact, everyone around me gets to celebrate the old Christmas but me.
That’s it! I am done. Bring back the old Christmas. I tried it the other way and it does not work. I want my shiny new bike, I want my kid to ride around on it with the other kids laughing and playing, and I want it now! I will never get to be call Nanny Boo Boo Pap Pop Grammy-Do this way. I had old Christmas running like clockwork and they took it away from me.
Fine, forget it. I am just going to go look at the old photo albums and start pulling out the old decorations….a little egg nog’ll do the trick. A little special egg nog. Tomorrow, I am out of here. No new Christmas for me. Tomorrow is my day. I am going to celebrate Christmas my own way. I need a break from this Christmas stuff altogether. I hate Christmas.
Wait a minute! I know, we will design a whole new Christmas. This will be the newest, bestest Christmas ever! We will be Christmas Pioneers. There will be sandy beaches, rock climbing, sun bathing and instead of presents, we will do great things for each other. Massages and facials for the ladies and football on TV for the guys, or visa versa. We will help our kids discover a whole new way of looking at Christmas. One kid loves soccer and girls, the other loves to collect widgets and sing. This is the new, new Christmas. This is the day everyone just does their own thing, does what makes them thrive. Everyone will want a piece of this Christmas. We’ll tell jokes and sing songs. Joy to the world.