This Christmas morning, as I sat on the couch eating my Cheerios, I found myself looking back. When I was a child, Christmas morning breakfast was always way too big an occasion, as far as I was concerned. I had already checked out all my gifts, squeezed and squished them, tried to peek inside if there was a way, and taken a wild guess at what might be inside the ribbon and colorful wrapping.
I was SO ready to rip into those packages. But no. The table had to be cleared and the kitchen tidied, which seemed to take forever, before we could finally begin what I saw as the main event. Ah, the impatience of youth.
Over the years Christmas and gift opening evolved a little bit year by year until, by the time I was an adult, a much more kid friendly plan was adopted: all gifts were opened on Christmas Eve and Santa's offerings were attacked Christmas morning, forever ousting the tedious Christmas morning waiting while the adults dawdled endlessly over coffee, totally oblivious to my impatience to get the gift opening show on the road.
Once I became a mother, I stuck to this tradition, never wanting to go back to those Christmas mornings that dragged on and on like a mile-long train. I'd get my coffee going and then it would be stocking time. Maybe there would be a tricycle or scooter leaning up in front of the mantle, a sand box or swing set in the yard. One year there was a massive dollhouse that I had painted, wall papered and furnished sitting expectantly in the living room, just waiting to be noticed. It was all about her, and I loved watching the joy and excitement. Then I would retreat to the kitchen to begin preparations for an early afternoon family dinner, usually turkey, but sometimes prime rib. Fun.
So here it is: another Christmas morning, and I am alone typing at my computer, enjoying the quiet and listening to carols, yet missing just a little bit, the glee of Christmas past. The day will pick up, of course, as I head to my brother's home for turkey and festivites. Lingering in my head, however, are visions of how it used to be. I miss it, and yet I don't. But I love the delicious memories.