I’m probably one of those people who annoys everyone around this time of the year. Cause I really love Christmas with all of my heart. So do my kids. We call Droopy our Christmas cotton ball. We watch sappy Christmas movies, dance to the same old songs every day of the season, light up the neighbourhood with millions of lights, bake Christmas cookies every other day, buy clementines and candy canes, and smother the house with Christmas. And I always cry the first time I hear Christmas Shoes.
In psychology classes I hear that it’s a sad time for many, and suicide rates are highest at this time of the year. And my heart aches. I wish I could hang out on Christmas Day with all the lonely people; I feel like I could make them smile. I love Christmas so much I just don’t want anyone to be sad or alone.
I’ve wondered over the years Why do I love Christmas so much? I think it has a lot to do with your childhood and how your parents treated Christmas. There were seven kids in my family, and my parents made a really big deal, even when we had no money, and there were many lean years. One Christmas, the highlight was the basket of food left on our doorstep with a turkey and the fixings plus turtles and a whole case of pop! We never had extra money for chocolate or pop so that was a very big deal. We all got two cans of pop each over the holidays and, at the time, that was a crazy big deal! But now that I’m older, I realize that makes 14 cans of pop which means my parents got 5 cans each!!! Hmmm….
Here’s a few things that always make me smile at Christmas:
- LIGHTS!!!! Houses all decked out make us smile. We always visit Old Scugog Road and gasp at the light show this neighbourhood offers to the world. I so wish I could live in a neighbourhood with neighbours like this!!! One year we got off track and a
littlelot lost. Yah, I suck at east, west, north, south…you know, all that complicated stuff! Anyhow, coming back to Whitby and through the main area with all the restaurants and stores which is a very well-lit area Matt started as we passed Boston Pizza, Oh wow! the lights! so beautiful! We all quickly caught on and joined in! We ended up crawling along the main streets of Whitby, exclaiming at all the beautiful Christmas lights! Have I mentioned yet today how much I love my kids?!
- Salvation Army Red. I CANNOT walk by them without donating, ESPECIALLY if it’s a sweet little elderly man or woman manning the can! I tell my kids, You don’t have to worry where the money goes, you’re only responsible for your heart and intentions! I can’t recount the times one or the other has been somewhere far or near, and I’ve gotten the text, Mom, I met the sweetest little lady at the SA can! For crying out loud, Drew pretty much brings them all home for dinner! Have I mentioned my kids lately….?
- Turtles! I’m pretty sure my life-long love affair with these guys began with that Christmas basket on our doorstep many years ago. Thank you to those strangers wherever you are. You made seven kids giddy with excitement over a couple cans of pop and a few chocolate treats. Every year when I have my first Turtle (which has become a contest between my kids to get me the first box of the season!), I remember you, and I smile.
- Christmas Eve. Pure magic. That is all.
- Presents under our tree are always addressed from old girlfriends, mean teachers, basically people who would never give us a gift….and we die laughing!!! So, for example, for about 20 years now, Matt has received a gift from Christina Smirnis, a little girl from Kindergarten who was in love with him and which completely devastated him! Little boys in Kindergarten DO NOT want to be chased by little girls! In fact, it is downright shameful for a boy to be chased by a little girl in Kindergarten!!! Also, there are many gifts from church people who don’t like us a lot so we kind of FORCE them to show a little love by giving us a gift on Christmas Day! Ok…I admit, we’re weird! But oh, so cool!
I hope this made you smile. And you find a smile of your own somewhere deep down in your heart. I know one thing for sure. Smiles make everything feel just a bit better. So, if you’re struggling this year, I’m sending you a hug and a smile. And a whole lot of Christmas love.