Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas, Ready or Not, here it comes

"Are you ready for Christmas?" I have heard this question about 5,837 times in the last two weeks. I am pretty sure that is an accurate number, just in case you are wondering ;-). The answer, however, is a resounding NO!!! I'm not ready, even though I started shopping in October. Good intentions, right? The last real shopping day is tomorrow and I still have one gift for little J, and stocking items to purchase. I am at the point where I feel like I am buying just to "have" and not because it is something that they will LOVE. This year was suppose to be the year that we focused on the real meaning of Christmas. My goal was to give each child three gifts to symbolize those given by the Wisemen. Now, we wouldn't be giving them myrrh or anything, just keeping it simple. Well, the actual number of gifts has risen a tad, but I still don't feel "done". I haven't gotten that one gift that will be "the one". You know the gift that in 20 years they are still saying, "I remember the year I got ___! Boy that was a great Christmas!"
I still remember my most favorite Christmas ever! It was 1983. I got a girlie, Hot Wheels style big wheel tricycle. I remember waking up at around 5 a.m. and my sister and I tried to keep really quiet. We weren't allowed to open presents until EVERYONE was up, and in a house of 12 people that can be difficult to accomplish. I remember the tree was glowing with what seemed like a million lights. There was a sea of presents. They stretched from the tree in the corner of the front room all the way to the middle of the room. In the midst of all these presents were three trikes. One for Adam (black and yellow, with some red on it), Michael's was exactly the same, and a pink one for me. Oooooh! I was in LOVE! I couldn't read well, but man, I recognized my name on that big wheel from across the room, no lie! There was such a warmth in that room as we opened presents and laughed. As the excitement over who got what grew more and more vocal, remember there are 8 kids opening gift-we were pretty loud, I looked around and for some reason I tried to burn those images into my mind. Even at 5 I was a pretty serious being. I am really glad that I did etch that into my brain. It has served me well when Christmas spirit was nearly non-existent. The Christmas that my dad lost his job, and we were told there was going to be no Christmas I cherished the "big wheel" Christmas memory. I longed to be 5 again. Amidst a sea of gifts and the warm glow of that gigantic evergreen with the million glowing bulbs. Then again when I was eight months pregnant with my first son. I was bound to the state of Utah, and unable to travel out of Provo for Christmas. The memory of the "big wheel" Christmas metamorphasized into what was really great about Christmas in my house growing up. It really wasn't about the sea of gifts, or my dads boots by the tree in a failed attempt to make tweenagers believe Santa really was real. It was about the tradition of love, joy, and remembrance of the Savior's birth. Knowing that the one who came into this world without a place to lay his infant head, would be the Savior of all mankind. He would give all he had so that we would could have life eternal. Selflessness. This is what I want my children to remember about Christmas. Of course, if it starts with a "big wheel" type of memory and evolves to something more I will be thankful. They are still children after all.
So, I guess I am ready for Christmas. As a matter of fact, bring it on!!!