It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year… Really!
Just two weeks after putting away the last of the Halloween pumpkins and after bagging the remaining sugary blobs to be re-purposed as gingerbread house decorations (we are all about sustainable design!), my husband returned from the supermarket with a pint of eggnog.
It was still warm outside, but the frothy cream and sugar drink that settles like lead in your stomach and tastes like heaven brought on an instant shift. I held it up triumphantly and exclaimed: “It’s on!” A bout of nostalgia at the site of the last of the
Mohicans gourds claiming its stake at our front porch instantly gave way to visions of sugar plums dancing in my head.
Living in the moment
Make no mistake. I don’t enjoy rushing through the season. I embrace it and try to live in the moment as much as the retailers’ push for pre-season sales lets me. While trick or treat merchandise at the beginning of the school year and Christmas sales before Halloween are not my cup of tea, I do enjoy the flow of the season, the magical moments, and the prospect of watching it all unfold through my kids’ eyes – with a pumpkin-spiced latte firmly in hand. Love it.
That’s what a few hours of PTO and a Starbucks cup holder for my shopping card are for. And once The Grinch, Rudolph, and Elf become national holidays in our living room, it’s all good. We are all kids in my house when The Whos roast the beast, Rudolph falls for Clarice, and Buddy has a beef with Miles Finch’s stature. So much fun, so many great lines, lots of snuggling on the couch.
But back to the dairy-based beverage…after sipping some samples around the kitchen table, I downloaded a Christmas countdown app, and then another. When I tried to access NORAD’s Santa Tracker, I couldn’t help but wonder if I had set off some sort of national security alert. The website informed me that the app won’t be active until later in the season. Did I really think that there was anything to track so soon after the Great Pumpkin special on TV? I curbed my enthusiasm a bit at that point and settled for an Internet Christmas station while building a Lego Christmas village, complete with
Hagrid Santa, with the kids.
Is it all a bit too much, too soon?
At the same time, it gives us more moments together as a family, more magic as the Christmas lists are written, more pancake breakfasts with Santa at the Y, and more time to reflect on what’s important. Yes, there are the long lines, the incredible amount of money spent, and the prospect of diplomatically navigating through old family feuds. But there’s also time to volunteer, donate, and spread the joy.
The magic that the season holds for the kids is sheer happiness. Enjoy it.
Marion Kase is a Berks County, PA mom of two. This post was adopted from her blog, Helicopter-Caterpillar.