Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Getting Into the Christmas Spirit

I absolutely love me some Christmas. I love the lights and the music and the special feeling you get when everything seems to be decorated with tinsel and bells – and of course I love setting up our Christmas tree. But I will admit that as I’ve gotten older I have to make sure I’m in the right frame of mind before I decorate.

Now that I’m solidly in my 30s with a husband, two children and a full-time career, it’s easy to make decorating for Christmas just one more thing on the to-do list. Get the dog groomed, go pick up milk and decorate the house for Christmas – check, check, check. Case in point: last weekend. On Friday night we decorated the house and I was exhausted from Thanksgiving and just not feeling particularly Christmasy. There were house chores to do, I needed to get my children off the Thanksgiving sugar high they were on and I really just wanted a nap. But there I was, dragging totes out of closets to fetch the Christmas stockings, decorations and lights – almost like it was some dreaded chore that needed to be finished.

For shame.

One look at my 5-year-old son, Max, and I corrected my thinking. Because to him, when I pulled off the lid to that tote, it was magic. It was the Christmas train Santa brought him two years ago, the stockings that will be overflowing with goodies on Christmas morning, and tons of ornaments that he is certain he is big enough to hang “all by himself this year.”

That was all I needed – just a little reminder from a smart little boy that the decorations aren’t the important piece of Christmas, but rather they serve as a conduit for the truly important part: the magic. To a child, it’s a magical because school will soon let out, a few snowflakes might fall and presents will be opened.  And though it’s a different for adults, it’s still magical. For me, I get to watch my sons open presents on Christmas morning and jump and down when they see what they got; I get to spend some much appreciated time with family and friends; and I get to close the chapter on one more amazing year. And even though the holidays mean a little something different to me now, it’s still my job to keep the magic alive for my sons. I get to help instill that special feeling one tree ornament and one stocking at a time. Because, as someone recently reminded me, Christmas is for children.

And at the end of last Friday night, when the decorations were hung and the tree was all lit up, it really was magical.

Aleshia Howe is a Senior Communications Specialist for Texas Health Resources and Mom to two boys.

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