The Gifts Under the Tree

By now, you may be on top of it – already packed up the tree and decorations and cleaned up all evidence of Christmas 2014. Or, maybe you’re holding on to tradition and keeping the tree up a few more days, savoring another successful Christmas. Chances are – either way – you are tripping over the mess that is Christmas past. The packaging, the tiny toys that fell out of the stockings, the little pieces of wrapping paper that somehow did not get picked up on Christmas day and the new toys and gifts that were so feverishly opened on Christmas morning – they are all there to greet you with every step. Especially if you bought your child legos. In which case, it’s a random brick there to say “hello” every time you walk into your living room barefoot.

As I find myself torn between wanting to pack up Christmas and claim my living room back – and wanting to keep the warm feelings of Christmas day and celebrating Christ’s birth for just a few days more – I catch myself thinking about what it is I will remember and treasure from this Christmas. There’s the material stuff  – sure, like a new coat from my husband, a gardening belt from my mom, a new curling iron from my daughter, a coffee pot from my dad – but what is really going to stick with me (beyond curly hair, because I have certainly missed having a curling iron!) are the memories from Christmas day. It’s the way my daughter was thrilled that her little brother got her the mood lamp she’d hinted at so clearly in the store – and the vision of tucking her in that night with the lamp enveloped in her arms, under the covers. It’s the way my 9-year-old son paused in realization when he opened the wrapping to see a box to a remote-controlled helicopter he’d been wanting for months before excitedly screaming, “YOU GOT IT!!!!” It’s the way my four-year old boy waited oh so patiently for my husband to assemble his new snowmachine sled that he’d been eyeing every time we stepped foot into the store. And beyond those material things – my memories are filled with moments like taking the kids and their new sleds to the big sledding hill and flying down the hill with them, laughing all the way, seeing my daughter’s eyes light up when I told her she gets to make Christmas day dessert this year, and listening to my sweet little boy say his prayers that night and look at me in a way that said it really didn’t matter what he got for Christmas this year – he was happy.

My family was truly blessed with the gifts of this Christmas and most of those weren’t ones you’d find under our tree.  What kind of blessings and memories did Christmas bring you this year?

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