Monday, December 04, 2006

Here's to the joy of Christmas!

I came home Friday night, content to put on my lounge pants, crank up the holiday jazz mix I bought last year, burn the green variety of holiday candle (you know – smells like pine), and finish decorating for Christmas. Abi and I went to see Stranger Than Fiction and I thought it was creative and morosely funny. It turned out to be more dark comedy than I had originally expected.

So, I got home. Turned the Christmas tree lights on. Lit my candles. I made my way into my bedroom to put on my pink Victoria’s Secret lounge pants. These are great pants…but you can wear them for a short period of time and they start to bag in the butt and the knees. Even though I live alone, I still like to be presentable, you know…for Mr. Darcy. But these were the pants that were calling for me the loudest from their wooden prison, deep within my lingerie chest.

I went back into the kitchen/dining/living room to begin and end the decoration for Christmas 2006.

I saw him then.

A little grey and white fuzzy head sticking out of my Parisian’s handle bag from last night’s shopping extravaganza. Mr. Darcy leapt at me from his clever hiding place, expecting to scare me. Cats are funny like that. Have you noticed that? Their thinking is, “If I can’t see you, you must not be able to see me. Therefore, I will avert one eye while keeping the other in plain site.”

He dives back into the bag making as much commotion as entirely possible. We’re playing a game, he and I. The interesting thing is that he couldn’t care less whether I was playing along or not.

I wish life were this simple. Joy from a bag. I mean, I get joy from bags now…but it’s because they are filled with the wondrous gifts that I have purchased.

When I was little, I would play in my parents’ camcorder bag…that’s right, remember those? When the camcorders were so large, they had to be propped up on shoulders and stored in what looked like a carry-on luggage baggage. I would get in there, lay as flat and as still as possible and wait for people to start looking for me.

“Bill, where’s Sarah? Have you seen Sarah? Where could she be? This isn’t like her.”

I’d lay there for as long as I possibly could, dying to let everyone in on my secret.

Looking back on it, I am pretty sure my parents knew where I was the entire time. They would just play along. Like I do with Darcy.

But I want to be on the other side of the surprise, the tom foolery, again. I want to get enjoyment out of simple things. I think it is important, especially in this holiday season, to look at the world around us as though we have the eyes of a child and the innocence of youth.

When was the last time that you couldn’t sleep on Christmas Eve? I’d lie awake trying to remember all the things I had included in my letter to Santa at the North Pole. I remember straining so hard to hear Santa and his reindeer arrive at my house but eventually, exhaustion would take over and I would fall asleep.

My mom would cook constantly throughout the Christmas season. Gingerbread houses, peppermint bark, chocolate covered pretzels, red velvet cake, sugar cookies made in holiday shapes (but half a batch with no icing…because I don’t like icing). You name it, she made it. Christmas morning I was always instructed to remain upstairs while my parents “looked at what Santa brought make sure it was right.” This seemed plausible. How nice of them! Then, they’d give me the queue and off I would go, dashing down the stairs to see what treasures were beyond the banister. I’m told a story, that one particular Christmas, I cried. I cried, proclaiming that Santa had given me too much. Obviously, there had been a mistake – he had given me someone else’s presents as well as my own! Apparently, it took my parents a while to calm me down that morning. Probably not the reaction they had expected.

I can’t wait to go through all of these things with my future children. To see the wonderment and joy they have as they experience everything for the first time. Don’t you wish that we could all keep that? Let’s all try to celebrate Christmas this year with these things in mind.

Here’s to the excitement of Christmas.

1 comment:

EDub said...

I’m told a story, that one particular Christmas, I cried. I cried, proclaiming that Santa had given me too much. Obviously, there had been a mistake – he had given me someone else’s presents as well as my own!

Blue One! Blue One! Blue One!