Sunday, December 3, 2017

Waiting for Christmas

The period of time between Thanksgiving and Christmas was once the very longest stretch of time in the whole year. Waiting for Christmas was excruciating. As a kid, the prospect of a visit from Santa was so all consuming that it made every day drag.

Looking back, those Christmases are blurred into one big holiday jumble. Presents, big and small, roasting hot fires, live trees dug from the ground and replanted in our front yard, it’s combined into a sort of warm, celebratory feeling.

It’s not so hard to wait for Christmas anymore. It seems more like we’re trying to catch it as it speeds by. The fleeting nature of adulthood has led to some adjustments to the traditions. My pre-Thanksgiving trees and lights might annoy the neighbors, but lately I feel anything after Halloween is fair game. Holiday decorations multiply over the years. Getting the halls fully decked takes more than a week and the effort seems like it should be rewarded with more than just one month of appreciation.

And so, I’m trying to slow it down this December. Though I can’t remember what exactly made my childhood holiday season seem to take so long, I’m going to insert a few quiet, activity-free days into the mix. Take a little time to recapture the anticipation. Then I’ll feel that warm muddle of Christmas magic along with one of the few benefits of adulthood: time goes so fast, I really don’t feel like I wait for anything anymore.