You want what?!?!?!
Ahhh, Christmas. The time of year that is magical and stressful. The shopping, the traffic, the cooking and cleaning…..all the preparation that goes into one day, one meal….it’s exhausting and yet every year we look forward to the havoc. It’s a time for family and friends; and as a kid it was a time of hope, anticipation and patience. Growing up, the tradition in my house was very regimented. There was a clear cut set of rules as to how Christmas worked. Santa filled a stocking each for my brother and I. While we slept, (which I don’t remember ever being able to sleep on Christmas eve), our stockings were laid at the end of our beds for us to find when we woke up. I later discovered that this was designed to keep us occupied to let my parents sleep longer. My brother and I tended to wake up while there were still stars in the sky! There were many a year that my family was up, had opened all our presents and were having breakfast while it was still dark outside. Let’s just say patience isn’t one of my virtues.
The other “tradition” was concerning the presents Santa left. In our house, Santa left unwrapped presents. Santa left toys and fun things…although there were usually some practical things like new pyjamas, but for the most part Santa’s gifts were the best! There would be a boy pile and a girl pile. My brother and I were NOT allowed to go downstairs to survey the lot until my parents were up, had put coffee on, plugged in the lights on the tree and had Christmas carols playing on the stereo. You can imagine the anticipation we felt, sitting atop the stairs waiting for the call that we could come down. We were like two race horses behind the gates waiting for the bell to ring to run like hell! As we sat chomping at the bit, we’d review our letter to Santa in our heads hoping and praying we’d find that coveted toy we had asked for under the tree.
When we were given the “ok kids, come on down” signal, we would whip down the stairs to the living room and then quickly survey the room to see where the gender specific Santa presents were left. We were not a wealthy family and my brother and I never asked for anything over the top, but like any kid there are always certain items that are popular at the time that you hope Santa will deliver. For the most part, Santa was pretty good, but there were a couple of years that he definitely screwed up. (Sorry Mom and Dad). There was the year I asked for an EZ Bake oven and instead got a toy vacuum. Or the year I asked for Barbie’s Sunshine Van and got a set of weights and a bench! Let’s just say that the Christmas morning photos from those years weren’t as “happy looking” as others. But as I said, for the most part, Santa was pretty good.
I have such warm and loving memories of Christmas spent with my grandparents, surrounded by family and friends. The smells coming from the kitchen, the sounds of laughter and my Dad playing the piano while everyone sang carols. It was always the best day of the year. As an adult and a parent, I have tried to create that same sense of awe and wonder and magic for my daughter and family. I always try to create a special gift that everyone will appreciate and remember. I love to make people happy! This year has been a bit more of a challenge for me. I am not hosting ….it would just be far too much for me, so we are all gathering at my parents house in Quebec for a few days of celebration. There will be beautiful white snow, a roaring fire, games, great food and lots and lots of laughter. I am so looking forward to that. The change of scene, being with family and having other things to think about other than doctor’s appointments, etc.
I have a sinking feeling however that Santa probably won’t be delivering what I’d like for Christmas. My two front….will just have to wait a few more months. Besides, I don’t think anyone wants to find “those” under the tree! This Christmas will be a very special one for me. I have my family and my health. I am cancer free and that truly is the best present I could ever ask for.
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.