Parker Loving Santa
I had my tree up this year the weekend before Thanksgiving and all my decorations up by that weekend. Yep, I was excited! So why you ask, was I more excited this year than any other year? Parker. This is the first year he will “somewhat” understand what Christmas is all about. Technically it’s Parker’s first Christmas because last year he was only 4 months old.
With that I had a chance to sit and think…what really is Christmas all about? What and more importantly, HOW are we going to teach Parker about Christmas? So, I prayed about it and thought about it. I began to think back to how Christmas was celebrated in my past …
We spent every Thanksgiving with my Dad’s side of the family in St. Louis and Christmas was spent every year with my mom’s side of the family mostly in Georgia or Texas. Either way, we knew where we were going to be for Christmas and who we were spending it with. I really loved Christmas because my parents got it right. My family would always fly in and stay for the whole weekend with my Grandparents or Aunt/Uncle. We were in one place. That is key to remember.
We would sit around the house, laughing, joking and catching up. We only saw each other once a year, so we really glad to have the time to enjoy each other. This was our schedule….(yes we had it down pat!):
Christmas Eve Eve – Hustle and bustle of the airport, then lots of hugs and kisses to get settled into!
Christmas Eve – Movie maybe or sitting around the house laughing, dinner and then secret santa
Christmas Day – Wake up to Santa!! Ate one of Aunt Karen’s famous breakfast casseroles, then back to the tree to open up our Christmas gift to each other.
Ok, so that was the schedule, but here are the details of what I saw on Christmas Day…
I have to first start with the fact that Christmas was my favorite holiday because of my sister. I was 8 years older than her, so my parents pretty much drilled it in my head that if I ruined Christmas for her, I would never see another present from Santa ever again! LOL…all with love of course!! But them telling me that only fueled the fire more to make her Christmas even more special because I knew how much it meant to me. Having been an only child for 8 years, Katie was like my own little, living, breathing doll! I loved her and mothered her as if she were my own. I didn’t know it then, but she was my gift from God. I got my wish of being a big sister/mother. Ok, back to my story…you can tell I love my sister.
So Christmas for me began with putting out cookies and milk for Santa and telling Katie we will know he came if he eats them! After that, we always…ALWAYS slept in the same bed for Christmas Eve. We would tell mom and Dad goodnight then snuggle up and tell stories. I would tell her I hear the reindeer bells and foot stomps on the roof. She believed me without a question! The look on her face every time I said anything about Santa, was priceless! We would giggle so hard and for so long, our parents would come back in the room and tell us we better go to sleep before we miss Santa!! We didn’t want that, so I wrapped her up tightly in my arms with our legs wrapped around each other too. Off to sleep we went.
We woke up the next morning giggling…imagine that?! She normally would be leaning over into my face and scare the dickens out of me when I opened my eyes! LOL!! I think that was when we woke our parents up, but we would creep into the living room anyways. It was pure childish joy at the sight of our Santa gifts. Granddaddy would usually be filming it and mom and dad…well I think they got just as much joy out of seeing us play with our Santa gifts! They were wall to wall grins. My sister, myself and our 2 cousins would sit for hours playing with the toys while the adults cooked breakfast. We would eat, then circle around the tree to open each others gifts, one by one.
That was Christmas to me. Joyful, happy, family Christmas. It wasn’t until later that I realized how hard it was for my parents. All those presents…well they had to get bought, wrapped and sent FedEx so we could have gifts to open. Yeah never thought of all that as a kid! Mom and Dad would have huge and do I even need to say expensive boxes to ship…and in time. I really credit my parents for Christmas because they did everything right. They never complained about shipping, buying, flying (except when were actually trying to get to the airport, that was a whole other story!) and never ever complained about getting all those presents home! They were good parents, keeping all the stresses of the holidays to themselves. I am thankful to my parents for getting it right.
So today, it’s exactly 3 days before Christmas and we just figured out Christmas schedules yesterday after a bunch of stressing. Quite the opposite of what we use to have. Matter of fact, for the past 3 years Jay and I have ran all over the city of Memphis having up to 4 days worth of Christmas’ and up to 6 different Christmas’! Yeah poor Aydin and now Parker were dragged around from house to house, never getting to actually play with their toys. By the time Christmas was over, Jay and I looked at each other, tired and cranky, saying: “what just happened? We missed Christmas!”
What are we teaching our kids? What are we doing to ourselves? How do we explain the true meaning of Christmas when all we do is run around for 4 days during Christmas? How do we share more quality time with our families and still share our own Christmas traditions with our kids? If you figure it out…give me a call.
We still haven’t figured it all out, but what we can do is find the true meaning in it all. Truth is, Christmas IS about Jesus. We get so caught up in celebrating Santa and buying gifts that we forget to celebrate Jesus. We all do it and we are all honestly guilty for it. Doesn’t make us bad people. But what we need to start putting into action along with Santa is all the lessons Jesus taught us. The moral of Christmas…to be thankful for what you have, to give more than you receive, and mostly…family. After all, that’s all you got and all you will TAKE with you in the next life. So, we can can complain about the hustle and bustle of Christmas or we can take what we got, choose to focus on what really matters and be thankful you found it. The meaning of Christmas that is : )
So we don’t get overwhelmed or stressed out, we need to take a deep look into what the real meaning of Christmas is. I challenge you to start a new tradition that helps you celebrate the birth of our Savior. What can you do for Jesus?