And so here we are. Christmas is drawing to an end.
And as the final hours of the holiday tick by, I find myself lost in thought.
For too many years, the magic of the season has alluded me.
That’s not to say there haven’t been happy holidays, moments of great joy.
Memories that I carry close to my heart and look back on when I need a little pick-me-up.
The truth, though, is that much of the spirit of the holiday season most often sat in the shadows of my mom’s depression. Where my friends found joy and excitement, I learned sadness and anxiety. And though I’ve put much of the pain of the past behind me, that anxiety has remained.
But on this, my 35th Christmas, I think back on the past few days, and, finally, I understand.
My little boy, a year ago too uncertain and questioning to speak to strangers, climbing confidently on Santa’s lap and declaring his longing for a steam engine and a new pair of slippers. Magic.
The tree? Neglected far too long, thanks to too much hustle and bustle in the past few weeks, followed by a pesky & nasty cold. With just a day to spare until Christmas, the ornaments were finally hung. Runt did it all himself, as I coughed and sniffled in my chair. Watching my sweet boy proudly climb the step ladder, full of concentration as he placed each and every ornament in the exact, perfect place? Magic.
The image of Runt, helping to make Christmas goodies, giggling uncontrollably after he turned the mixer on too high and was instantly covered in a cloud of flour? Magic.
The sound of his feet hitting the floor this morning, running towards the living room as he quietly chanted to himself “Was he here? Was he here?” His gleeful shrieking of “Train! Train! TRAIN!!!” as he tore into the goodies the Jolly Old Elf left behind for him. Magic.
The glances and smiles shared between Hubster and I throughout the day as we watched our sweet boy busily playing with the latest additions to his beloved train set. Magic.
Before he headed off to bed tonight, my little man declared to us, “I can’t WAIT for next Christmas!” And as I kissed him goodnight, I found myself thinking “Me too.”
Shoving the anxiety aside, letting go of the baggage of the past. Living in the moment.