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Monday, December 09, 2013

LOST: One Childlike Sense of Christmas Wonder

My first Christmas
Nothing reminds me of how tricky time is, how it stretches and shrinks on its own accord, like reflecting for a few minutes on how Christmas felt as a child. December seemed to go on forever then, in anticipation of that magical morning.


One of my favorite Christmas accessories was the advent calendar. Each morning we would open a new door on our paper calendar, one chocolate square closer to the Big Day.

There was a little avarice…okay maybe a lot… that unapologetic avarice children do so well. The Strawberry Shortcake bike, the EasyBake Oven, the dollhouse I “couldn’t live without.”

But the season was more than that: it was Christmas movies on cold nights, stringing colored lights around trees and bushes, singing carols door to door and making cookies in shapes with sprinkles and colored frosting. It was completely enchanting.

I am not sure when December started to speed up, rushing past me in a blink. Maybe it started when it became dominated by semesters and finals. Or maybe it was later, in a blur of office Christmas parties and deadlines and “scheduling” days off. I don’t remember when it happened, but for a while now, I am ashamed to admit, Christmas has felt like just another obligation, more often dreaded than anticipated.

This year's decorating effort
The angst over how many days we can “afford” to take off, the tree and lights and ornaments that never come out of the box, the crowds and traffic and mad rush of shopping is what Christmas has become. The bullet train from Halloween night to Christmas day is a nonstop 30-minute commute, with no time for magical wonder.

Don’t get me wrong. I watch White Christmas every year. I still put Bing Crosby on the sound system. I have my red Christmas sweater and sparkly earrings ready for the party, and hang the stockings above the fireplace. But I look at my advent calendar now and realize a week has passed without my notice.

Nativity advent calendar,
a gift from my parents
I know Christmas as an adult will never be the same as when we were children, but I miss those December days that would unfold leisurely enough for me to actually enjoy them…when the only thing on the to do list was “bake cookies.”

Christmastime may be made for children, but perhaps there is still time for the lost child in us to find that wonder again. I just can’t for the life of me remember how.



The hubby and I - November 2013

3 comments:

Pauline B Jones said...

Some of it you can't get back. It's part and parcel of living in a grownup world, of not being a child. But...I think you can find some of it from love of family, from the service you do with CASA, by taking a deep breath and letting the music flow into you and linger. Hugs!

Accidental Foodie said...

Richard and I discussed this over dinner, about how your Christmas paradigm and expectations have to shift as an adult. And you have to find ways to slow down and savor the moment to connect with the season again. Some of our favorite recent Christmas moments are almost stolen from the rush and bustle of daily life. Definitely gonna take a deep breath and slow down! :)

Pauline B Jones said...

Most wise of you both. :-) I think everything speeds up as you get older. It is kind of funny, because we're physically slowing down, but life just hurtles forward anyway. At least we do get more moments! LOL