This year, I thought Christmas would be difficult. I wrote about my grief over the new stage my children are going through, moving swiftly from childhood to pre-adolescence and beyond. I have been missing my mother, and dealing with emotions having to do with my parents in general that range from desolation to rage.
My husband is near petrified about the state of the economy (who isn't) and I've been dealing with Good-Lord-I'm-Almost-40-Years-Old-Must-Everything-Physically-Fall-
Apart-At-Once health woes.
To sum, holiday spirit was hard to find.
But holiday spirit found me where I least expected it. While at work at the vet one day, my children decorated our Christmas tree, all on their own. I returned from work to find their glorious and proud faces and a lopsided silly tree that could not have been more lovely.
My husband and I pooled small cash gifts that came in from unexpected places, an Aunt here, my job there - and worked to cross everything off the letters to Santa that my Children had written. A Santa they no longer believe in, but still long for. The longing, I know and recognize, is for a world where giving is done freely, and where dreams sneak in overnight, and by morning, miraculously - come true.
On Christmas eve, just like a fairy tale, like stories told over and over again - my children were tucked into bed, and I stayed up - waiting until I could hear tell tale snores - and then tiptoed to the living room and assembled their Christmas morning miracle. I love this picture, as it appears that Pepper, the cat, is the true secret Santa, pausing here to reflect upon his work.
When Christmas morning came, my miracle was added to the rest. Two happy children, in jammies still, taking the time to explore the contents of the handmade stocking we sewed together last year.
All in all, everyone was happy. I had favorite gifts, not ones addressed to me, but one each received by my children. RJ's Johnny Cash t-shirt is too cool for words.
And Abigail received a poster that I am still walking by her room and staring at in every free moment. Who wouldn't?
My children were more appreciative and joy filled than I had expected. It wasn't the material things or the pretty packages that gave me pause, or lifted my spirit on Christmas day. It was something far more soft and beautiful. The joy of giving, and the incredible reciprocal joy of knowing that it is received with wonder and grace.
xoxo - Chel