Brrr…it’s cold out this morning! Thirty degrees at 6 a.m. and frost on the grass. Some will scoff, I know, but for this Arizona girl that is dang cold. I know it will warm up a little by the time I’m out and about; even so, the high today is only supposed to be 56. As I lie in bed and burrow under my blankets, a part of me, albeit a small part, is happy it’s cold — it feels more like Christmas this way. I realize that’s not true for everyone, and while I’ve spent most of my Christmases warm and without snow, I wonder what it would be like to be part of a culture that always associates the holidays with swimsuits and sunshine instead of sweaters and snowballs.
Our tree is up and our house is decorated. The older I get the faster the years seem to pass, and I understand more and more why my mom always said, “Christmas again? We just took the tree down!” I was a bit sad as I decorated this year, thinking that some of the magic disappeared with my little children who were breathless with excitement as they listened to Christmas carols, made gingerbread houses, and waited on Santa. My now-older children look forward to playing Super Smash Brothers with their cousins and having no homework on their winter breaks…and to presents, of course, even if they’re not really from jolly old St. Nicholas.
But, I think (I hope) they still anticipate our family traditions: the Christmas Eve morning movie and the nighttime walk through the neighborhood to look at the lights; Christmas Eve dinners at their Aunt Alyce and Karen’s house — southwest style, with carne asada, tortillas and homemade guacamole (yum!) — and then dropping off gifts for the rest of the family at Grandma’s house. At home, on Christmas morning, we savor coffee cake and drink hot chocolate as we unwrap presents. Later, we will meet the rest of the family back at Grandma’s to open more gifts before our lasagna lunch (also yum!). Oh, and in another week, games and fried rice on New Year’s Eve!
As I think about it, I am less blue and more excited, if not breathless. A line from the carol “The Night Before Christmas” pops into my head: You don’t have to be a child to love the mystery. It makes me feel good. Warm inside, despite the frost outside.
Our holidays have changed as the boys have gotten older, but maybe Patrick and I created enough magic when they were little to last them through the years until they have children of their own. I realize that is many years away, but it would be nice to hold a baby in my arms again and show them the lights on the Christmas tree, even if I have to be a grandma to do it (a grandma — O.M.G.).
I also realize something else, as I read back over this post…that is a crap-load of food I just talked about. Geez, no wonder I gain five pounds every year!