It’s different now.
This celebration of a baby king that culminates in a wrapping paper frenzy and tissue paper flurry on Christmas morning has changed with the times.
The times are my children–taller than me and more often transported by wheels, not feet.
I remember when waiting for them to fall asleep meant I could be in bed by midnight; Santa would arrive when dreamy sugar plums started dancing.
Now, Santa arrives to fill stockings in the still and darkness, before the sun rises on a short day, hours before they’ll be awake. About the same time they used to patter down our hallway to wake us up, to spring on our bed with eyes wide and hearts thumping because they had already peeked at the mantel and knew what was waiting–
The Grinch in me wants to damn their growing up, their moving on and out. And yet I’m proud of them, so very thankful, delighted to see who these once little people are becoming.
But their Becoming comes at a price, a sharp pinch to their mama’s heart.
And so now on Christmas morning, it is the mama and daddy who wait. Eyes as tired as theirs once were wide, hearts marking time with each pulse, willing and wishing a slower meter.
This was a peculiar year, the year an ornery tree went dark and the stockings went missing–the kind of things that threaten to rob joy if you let them have their way.
Or you can choose to remember The Why, that baby king born 2000 years ago; for a reason, try as we might, we can’t fully understand. God made man? It’s near crazy talk.
But it helps put into perspective a sorry strand of lights and your babies’ beautiful stockings getting thrown out with last year’s trash.
So I fill their dime store stockings to the overflow with random but deliberate gifts – it’s their very favorite part (mine, too) – padded down the stairs to sip coffee and ready breakfast…and wait…
Preparing and expectant…