The electric air, buzzing with the power of a thousand multi-colored lights. The sights, the sounds, the way people talk a little nicer, give a little more, tread lighter and kinder. The smell of a fresh tree standing in the corner, waiting to be adorned by ornaments that have hung on trees so many years before this one. The movies that bring back floods of memories and ignite the holiday spirit in the coldest spot of your heart. Gifts left anonymously and unexpectedly on your doorstep; a physical reminder of the goodness of humankind. Cards in the mail with notes and pictures from friends and family. A plate of cookies left on the counter for Santa. Numbered doors that open up and reveal tiny Christmas shaped chocolates for 25 days. Remembering our first Christmas together. Popcorn balls and homemade goodies. The shiny sparkle of tinsel and flickering candles.
That is Christmas.
I need to remember this when I'm overwhelmed with the adult side of the holiday. When I'm deciding if I'll pay my car payment or buy my kids gifts. When I'm trying to use my last $79 to buy groceries that will feed a family of 4 for 11 days and nights. When I'm trying to conserve gas in my car so I don't have to walk to work in the rain when that little red needle inevitably lands on E. When I'm working longer hours to try to ensure I can buy our annual holiday ham because I'm not poor enough to get assistance and barely earn enough to tread water most months. When I'm praying for a miracle; a break. Anything to make this all seem worth the struggle. Something tangible and significant to give my weary brain and body a rest from all of this mess. When the little things just don't add up to be enough and the guilt of failing weighs heavy on my heart. When I want to thrive, not just survive.
I need to remember:
Trinity singing Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas song
Presley calling Santa "Salsa"
Grandma Wilson's handmade quilt and baby doll quilt w/ matching nightgown
Justin on one knee asking me to be his wife on our first Christmas together
Decorating the Christmas tree w/ Devon, singing Safety Dance
Baking cookies for Santa
Looking at Christmas lights with family
String-Green Christmas parties
Eating cookies for breakfast
Judy coming over in the morning to watch the kids open gifts
Christopher, Melissa, and Trinity sharing Christmas day at Grandma & Grandpa's house
Making and watching picture slideshows on Christmas day
Spending Christmas Eve with my Dad, Sister, and Brother
The year my brother and I got gifts from the giving tree
The year a church gave Trinity gifts for Christmas
Victorian Christmas in Jacksonville
Pictures with Santa
These are the good things. These are the important things. The rest will work itself out. I must remember this.