Monday, December 24, 2012

'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Dear Michaela, Jenna, and Alec,

This is a special Christmas Eve edition written by Dad. 

Christmas Eve is a special day that we look forward to all year.  We enjoy spending time as a family, finishing last minute wrapping and baking, going to church, enjoying a family Christmas Eve party, and anticipating Santa's arrival.  One of my favorite times of Christmas Eve is right before you go to bed when I read The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore.  The book itself is very special to me as Mom gave it to me as a Christmas gift in 1995.   (This was the year before we were married.)  She wrote on the first page, "I give this gift to you in hopes that you will give it to our children.  We'll read it every year, it will become old and worn with us.  It is a classic: it is the magic of Christmas."  

Each year as I read it to you I think of how grateful I am to have three beautiful, healthy children who make us so proud and a wonderful wife.   I couldn't have imagined how wonderful my life could be and you are all a major part of that.  "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!"  I love you!



Saturday, December 22, 2012

Nostalgic Break in the Action.

Just for a moment, as I was driving with our three kids in the car to go to the mall and pick up the last of the Christmas Gifts To Be Bought and get some dress up shoes for the girls to wear on Christmas Eve, just for a moment I profoundly missed being a kid at Christmas.

I missed the feeling of excitement about the holiday. I missed the anticipation, the sense of time standing still when we were celebrating, and the feeling of fullness afterwards.

I miss my grandma.

I miss her rum balls and Russian tea cakes that she she made every year (but I never ate), the Swiss Colony petite fours that she bought every year and I also never ate- scorned them, actually, until the day I tried one and realized how good they were.  I miss the refrigerator cake she made every year. I miss all the traditions she and my mom kept alive year after year after year.  I miss her keeping us in line when Brian and I were totally sugared out and bouncing off the walls.

I miss the party we had every Christmas Eve at our house, the Christmas tree up on a card table to keep it out of my brother's curious reach, the glass cart we pushed around the living room with appetizers on it, the bookcase in the living room that held our stockings.  I miss opening our gifts on Christmas Eve because that's how they did it in Germany.  I miss seeing the pile of presents on the piano in the living room.

I miss getting a new dress for Christmas and feeling all dolled up.

I miss my parents.

They are two and a half hours away in a hospital in another state.  I miss having them 90 seconds away.

I miss the Christmas of my youth, when no one was sick, when everyone was alive, when I didn't have to plan the holiday, bake all the goodies myself, buy and wrap all the gifts and in general fret about making a wonderful holiday for my family.  Though I usually enjoy being Master of My Domain and Making all the Decisions, a little part of me misses the lack of responsibility.  I feel like I can close my eyes and be back in our old, old house and I am nine years old again, opening up a Laurie Walker doll who seemed larger than life with her navy and white pinafore dress and reddish hair.

I feel just like Clark Griswald does when he watches the old home movies in Christmas Vacation

I feel happy and sad and wistful and blessed, blessed, incredibly blessed that I have these memories I can pull up at a moment's notice.