The holidays are upon us. It’s so easy to get caught up in the commercialism…I just want to take a moment to remember the things that don’t have price tags. The things that now, more and more, seem to be lost to the shadows.
When I was a little girl…the magic and wonder of watching the house transformed was something I never got used to. One night we would go to bed like the night before, and the next day we’d awaken to a different world. A tree that seemed like it would blow through the ceiling stood tall & proud…flocked, always flocked to look like it had snowed inside, with hundreds of little twinkle lights on it that beckoned. Boxes were buried beneath it, wrapped in colorful paper…but no names…just packages, like great mysteries waiting to be revealed. There was no squabbling over who had more, or whose was bigger…we just knew that somewhere in there was one for each of us. My parents avoided a lot of the sibling chaos this way, and left us to image what could be in each of the packages, regardless of if they were for us or not.
That day, the day of the unveiling, the fireplace was lit for the first time of the season too. Almost before we hit the stairway landing, we could hear it crackle and knew it was “the day.” Funny thing…now that I’m older, I can look back and see that it was actually the same day every year. The perfect memory of it though, is that we didn’t expect it and got surprised every time. I did anyway.
We’d watch as through the days leading up to the holiday different packages would disappear from the stack…with mom or dad to work, or to schools in our pack, or any other number of places…and that too was magical because we got to be an elf for the day and deliver a gift. It was about the giving…not the getting. The simple joy of giving because we could.
I know my mom would say it’s about the reason for the season…and that’s her faith. I don’t diminish it. I only mention all of this to note that there is something that has gone missing from the holidays. The magic of the season, the spirit of generosity for the simple sake of giving…is disappearing, or maybe even gone. It makes me sad. The shadows have claimed a piece that is desperately difficult to reclaim.
In my home, we have packages wrapped without tags…just as my parents did, but more and more…I’d just as soon not have them at all. A grand holiday for me is one where my family is all together and there doesn’t need to be more than that. The world has picked up the pace of crazy to the point that simple things like sitting down to dinner together during the week is impossible. And, having a family vacation is an exercise in planning so far in advance that it seems unreachable. I want to go back and reclaim the simple…pajamas and a book by the fireplace, or matched sweaters and a meal so grand that your belly aches.
For holiday this year I’ve asked for just one thing…Family game night. I want to sit on the floor with finger foods, play games, and laugh my ass off with my family. No phones. No television, No distractions…just us, as we are, with no strings attached wrapped in colorful paper.
I want to see my husband win Pretty, Pretty Princess for the eleventy-billionth time because we girls conspired to make him have to wear the crown and jewels. I want to see the Perfection board blow chunks everywhere because the player was too busy being tickled to get the pieces all in before the time ran out. I want to shut the lights off, and watch the faces around the room as the Cherries Jubilee is lit on fire…because hot brandied cherries over ice cream is AMAZING on a cold night. Most of all…I want to shut off the world for just one night and forget that there are bills to pay, hours to work, and chores to accomplish. I want to leave the dishes in the sink and watch cheesy movies until we fall asleep in a pile.
I want the simple things back…just for one night.
I hope we can accomplish it. Everything else will still be there the next day. Whatever your holiday…this is my wish for you too. Simple joy with no strings. There’s still time…all the holidays are days and weeks away yet. Seek out the shadows and shine a bright light into the darkness. You never know what you’ll find.
Until then…there’s work to be done. If you were playing along with my Crossword Puzzle BlogHop…you have until MIDNIGHT the 5th to get your card in for the drawing. If you’re part of the review roundup going on…thank you for choosing Veil Break or Gravedigger…I hope you enjoyed your selection, and I thank you for the reviews. If you are local to me…we’re moving my daughter out – she’s leaving the nest for her own abode…help is appreciated. The list is longer…but you get the gist.
Thank you for being here.
Thank you for you.