My kid has a love/hate relationship with Santa.
She talks about him incessantly. Asks to see our chimney. Inquires about when he will be coming. I want to preface all of this by saying that Rich and I NEVER taught Santa as a Christmas lesson, but thanks to our Black Friday culture, he snuck right in there on our commercials, our neighbor’s front lawns and in our malls.
However, as much as her big, beautiful blue eyes widen with delight at the sight of twinkle lights and christmas trees, when she comes face to face with a man in a red suit, all bets are off. She recoils in horror if he tries to hug her. Her lower lip quivers when his booming voice fills the room. My El loves Santa at a distance. So do I.
My husband is Mr. Claus. Christmas music has been playing in our house since the weather dropped. We still have pumpkins on the table. I haven’t made the list for the Thanksgiving shopping and he’s already talking about tree placement. Generally, for non-Christmas people, this type of behavior might be irritating. As a self-proclaimed Scrooge with a little girl, it is life-giving. And I don’t say that flippantly.
It seems every year at the Shannon’s house is a little leaner than the year before. It stresses me out to think of all the gifts we cannot afford to buy, the food to prepare, the added expenses that float around the holiday season. But, every year, our lack of funds seems to feed my husband’s Christmas spirit. Christmas music comes earlier, the Christmas songbook (that once was my Nana’s-also a Christmas lover) finds its way to my piano and is played through every night. Christmas memories of Huffy bikes and life-sized dolls and manicotti and Christmas brunches and Nana’s standing rib roast are spoken of at the dinner table. And truly, it’s quite contagious.
Though we can afford a little less each year, my heart for Christmas expands just a little. There’s no Black Friday stress because we can’t go shopping anyway. I don’t have obsessive worries about how many types of cookies I can make- we have the time and the money for two, so let’s pick our favorites and be done with it. We become a little craftier-which for me, is a Christmas miracle unto itself. And as trite as it might sound, it makes me so very thankful for what we have and for the little baby, born in a manger, who came to save us all. What blessings abound in our house full of people who love each other deeply! We are healthy and happy and surrounded by the joy of serving others and full of the gifts that are our family and friends. I am full of Christmas joy this morning knowing all that has been given to us, and am so glad my husband sees fit to celebrate accordingly-albeit, a little early by society’s standards.
But when were they ever right anyway?