If you read my last post, you know that this Christmas break has been a lot different than many in the past. It is also very bittersweet because it is my last Christmas as a student, or as a “kid” as I like to think of it. Next year (if all goes according to plan) I will be out in the real world and on my own. I will have my own tree and decorations, and going “home” for Christmas will be a lot more difficult.
I think all the pressure that rests on this Christmas has caused me to hold it to a higher standard, one that maybe it hasn’t lived up to thus far. In four days, my family and I are embarking on our first ever winter cruise so the trimmings that surround Christmas have been much to adjust to. In all fairness to my parents, I completely understand why they didn’t want to pull down box after box of decorations from the attic and why they didn’t want to come home on the 2nd to find pine needles strewn about the floor due to the dried up tree we left behind. It was just, shall I say, different, to come home at Christmastime and find only certain “zones” of the house decorated.
On Friday, I went up to the preschool where my mom teaches to watch her 4-year-old class perform their Christmas songs for their mommies and daddies. While I was there, her co-workers and I had a good laugh (all in good fun of course) picking on my mom about her lack of spirit when it came to getting the house prepared for the season. Somehow I don’t think she found it all that funny.
You see, my parents are looking at the bigger picture this holiday season. They are looking forward to our seven-day family vacation. They are happy that we are going to have that time together uninterrupted during a time of year that is all about being with those that mean the most to you. I approached the holiday season and Christmas break with a sour attitude because, in my eyes, this was my last Christmas to be a kid (not that I am in any way a still a kid). I wanted Christmas candy and cookies and a tree and all the trimmings. I wanted hot coco, apple cider, eggnog, and every Christmas movie imaginable. I wanted a cookie-cutter Christmas. I wanted real-live Santa with his bowl-full-of-jelly-belly to come sliding down our chimney for crying out loud!! Because didn’t everyone realize that next Christmas I am moving to Antarctica and becoming the Grinch?! THIS IS MY LAST CHRISTMAS!
Well, it didn’t take me long to realize that I was being my usual over-dramatic self. Surprise, surprise. Who would have ever guessed it? After my mom’s preschool program the two of us came home and cuddled up on the couch and started watching…you guessed it…How the Grinch Stole Christmas. And besides that fact that I realized that Grinches aren’t welcome in this house (Samantha HATED him and nearly knocked the TV over every time he came on the screen), I also learned a valuable Christmas lesson: that Christmas comes whether or not it’s cold outside or 100 degrees. That Christmas comes whether or not you have a real tree that’s 10 feet tall or a Charlie Brown tree or no tree at all. That Christmas comes whether you eat ham or turkey or hotdogs or pizza or a bologna sandwich. Because that’s not what Christmas is about at all…
“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons.
It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags.
And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”