It’s early Christmas morning. I am up not because of excitement and desire to see what’s under the tree, nor because of children who are bouncing off the walls in a frenzy to see what santa brought, but simply because I wake up early every day and as I age I find it more difficult to sleep in. Hell, I usually just find it difficult to sleep, never mind sleeping in.
I sit, much like every other morning, with my one lactose-free, skim milk, coffee subsitute latte of the day, checking my emails, and because I do have time today, the news. Life is quiet this time of morning and I enjoy being up because of that.
But I miss the child-like wonder and excitement of the season. I didn’t shop this year; we all decided that since no one could really afford to spend and the whole gift giving thing has gotten right out of control, we would spend time together over a meal, as we always have done, without the focus on presents. I was fine with that. Until this morning. While the meaning of the season is not the materialism that is blasted out from every speaker and TV station, part of the wonder is the knowledge that something will be waiting for you under the tree. Something that is not a cat hairball. Part of the wonder is knowing, deep down in your child-heart, that magic does happen, at least once a year and that amid the sparkling ice crystals of the new snow and the favourite tree decorations from years past, that magic will appear on this morning.
I suspect part of the magic slipped out the door when the kids grew up, became adults with lives and families of thier own. They often now have other obligations and responsibilities on christmas and I find spending another christmas eve alone with only the cats, just too depressing. Yet not so depressing that I would go to work. I gave them too many christmas eve’s and christmas days of my children’s lives. So there is still hope that I can and have realized the value in me time.
And yes, although JD is gone far away in that strange land, I did have Alex and Sean here last night after their other obligations were done. So it was not as dismal and sad as some are. And yes, there are a few things under the tree – gifts and cards from co-workers that I placed under the tree just for this moment. So, perhaps I will indulge in an eggnog latte and see what santa left me. The magic is there somewhere, I just need to dig a little deeper.