In a few days, Christmas 2013 will just be a memory. It always surprises me when it’s Dec. 26, and I sit back and think about all the chaos that led up to that sacred day.
We shop at a frantic pace. We bake and cook like there’s no tomorrow. We make list after list after list. We scribble sentiments on Christmas cards faster than Santa’s elves are working at the North Pole (I’m still trying to get mine out, so if you’re expecting one from me, you may or may not get it. Sorry.). We throw wrapping paper and ribbons around like banshees, always one inch short of making that paper fit or running out of tape with just one gift to go. We attend enough church services, Christmas programs and other holiday events to last a lifetime. We pull out our cash, write check after check and offer plastic as a last resort. We’ve chased the cat and the dog away from the Christmas tree more times than we can count. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Complete and sheer nuttiness — for lack of a better word.
You’ve been there. I’ve been there. We’ve had Christmas up to our elbows, and then on Thursday ... it will all be finished. We’ll take a sigh of relief, refuse to step on the scale, un-decorate the tree/house, and depending on one’s level of guilt — we’ll finish those last few Christmas cards, despite the fact they’ll be late. Finally, we’ll collapse into bed on the night of Dec. 25, and if we’re lucky, we can stay awake to offer one last prayer of thanks for everything that we call Christmas — whether chaotic and hectic, or quiet and still. End of Christmas Story 2013.
So with Christmas just a few days away, what are you looking forward to most? Will it be Mom’s pumpkin pie? Will it be the look on the youngsters’ faces when they open that perfect gift? Perhaps it will be the time after Christmas dinner when the entire family sits around, reminisces and laughs about this and that? Or maybe it will be the holiday Christmas party with friends and/or co-workers?
We each have a Christmas event — call it a tradition — for which we all wait. Maybe there’s a whole host of those moments; perhaps there’s just one. Either way, they are the moments that make your holiday special, memorable, the ones that are inevitably near and dear to your heart.
Which is my whole point in this pre-Christmas column ...
While each of us celebrates this special day differently, I contend the most important thing we will take away from our Christmas celebration isn’t the sweater that was beautifully wrapped or the ham that was tastier than ever. I won’t be the goodies Santa left in everyone’s stockings, and it won’t be the gift card from your favorite store. While very nice, those things — in the end — won’t really matter. Will they?
What will matter is one thing and one thing only: Memories.
Exhausted, you’ll no doubt lay your head on the pillow Wednesday night with a host of new memories to add to all the ones from Christmases past. Some will be repeat memories from years gone by, while others will be brand new ones to treasure for a lifetime. Some will involve laughter; some might even involve a few tears. There will be hugs that leave a lasting impression as they wrap their arms around your souls, and the “I love you” you hear when everyone departs will seal the day for eternity.
Memories. May your day be filled with those memory-making moments that will last a lifetime and make all the nuttiness worthwhile.
Merry Christmas, my friends. May you enjoy the love of family and friends, and may the reason for the season be first and foremost in your mind.
BCR Editor Terri Simon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.