There is a special present under my tree. I can’t honestly remember the last time I had a Christmas gift from that particular person. When I first opened the package I was so overcome that I surprised even myself.
“Why are you crying, Mom?” my girls asked. “Do you want to open it right now? We’re sad, too, can we open ours?” Ever the sly negotiators, my kids.
I smiled at the conniving and said, “Sorry, ladies. No presents until Christmas. Besides, I don’t care if I ever open this one, I just like seeing it sitting here.”
They met this declaration with skeptical disbelief, but it’s true. It doesn’t matter to me what is under that wrapping paper. It could be a box of chocolate, a miniature airplane kit, the first season of I Love Lucy. I really don’t care. It’s there. My dad sent me a present, it’s under my tree and I feel like a kid again.
Christmas as an adult can be stressful and, since I’m being honest, I haven’t really enjoyed the season in a long time. The lists, running around, shopping and flow of money out the door has a tendency to rob the thrill for me. Since having my children, I now just look forward to their anticipation, surprise, glow and excitement more than anything else. Kids have an innocent belief that I’ve lost.
This year, with one small and unexpected package, I’ve found a little bit of my own innocence again. It’s easy to forget that this time of year is a reminder to treasure the people we value… and the people who value us.
Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope you all find a little surprise under your trees, too, whether it’s wrapped up in paper or just a feeling of appreciation you didn’t know you’d missed.