Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Waiting For JoAnn

Twas the night before ChristmasAs I mentioned last night, we're down in Texas to celebrate the holidays with Lisa's family. Right now we're waiting for her sister, JoAnn, to arrive from Austin. While we're waiting, I've been reflecting on the season.

I love the holidays. I especially love Christmas. I have loved it for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, I used to start my daily countdown in about late September (sorry, Mom). Thinking back, it wasn't just about the presents (though I was as material as the next kid). It was everything. The decorations, the food, my grandparents visiting. I loved the smell of the real tree that we always had (complete with bubble-lights). Christmas carols, including the occasional family sing-a-long around the piano.

I remember making the funky little craft projects in grade school. Construction paper and cotton balls to make Santa. Popcorn strings. Loops of more construction paper to make chains for the tree. What could be more fun?

Most of all, I guess what made it fun was that at that time of my life, as with most kids, life was uncomplicated. Each moment was a surprise. Each Christmas special was the pinnacle of meaning and high art. The traditional reading of "The Night Before Christmas" was the prelude to a long night of trying to sleep which was summarily terminated at five in the morning (sorry, Dad).

I'll never be able to recapture that simplicity of youth, but I will continue to enjoy the holiday. My enjoyment will change as I do and evolve into something new each year. For now, I am glad that I have so many families to visit and so many celebrations to savor.

So, what are your favorite memories of the holiday season?

12 days.

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