I love December. Not just because my birthday is coming up. In fact, birthdays after 30 don’t sound too exciting. I think I’ll just stay 30 from here on in. But I like the upcoming holidays. The decorations. The pretty lights popping up on the houses up and down my street. The time off from work. The trip to Beaumont to spend time with my family. I even enjoy the Christmas shopping. Although, I usually end up doing as much of mine online as I can get away with.
You have to go out to the malls and/or shopping centers. You just have to. It’s like a rite of passage. All the excitement in the air. You can just feel it. It’s electrifying! People scurrying about, overloaded with shopping bags. Some look ready to pull every hair on their head out. Others seem to almost skip their way through the stores, in perfect timing with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra playing in the background. Even if I’m just window shopping, it’s always fun to go wander the stores and see what new-fangled trinket people are fawning over.
I remember, when I was a kid, the Cabbage Patch dolls were all the rage. Parents were lining up at Toys R Us at the crack of dawn for a chance to get their grubby paws on one for their demanding child who just wouldn’t understand why Santa didn’t bring them the doll of their dreams. People were actually fighting over these dolls. It was insane.
I never got a Cabbage Patch doll. Honestly, I don’t remember ever wanting one. My mom might remember it differently. But what I did get, every year, without fail, was something I would never trade for all the <insert most wanted gadget here> in the world. And I’m not just talking about Mom’s jailhouse rolls either.
I got to tiptoe into the living room with my brothers, before our parents were awake (or so we thought) to discover what Santa had left for us.
I got to see my parents smiling as they watched us rip open our presents. And to, later, see my brothers smiling as their children opened their gifts.
I got to see my neices and nephews go from their parents helping them read the nametags on the gifts, so they could deliver them to each person, to them reading them for themselves.
I got to see my dad, year after year, break out that electric carving knife (that thing has to be older than I am!) and go to work on the turkey or ham.
I got to melt the butter to brush on top of Mom’s rolls before hiding them away, under the most mismatched kitchen towels you can imagine, so they could rise before putting them in the oven.
I got to sit around the dinner table with my family, all of us so full we could barely move, only to hear Mom ask who was ready for dessert.
And I got so much more that I could never put it all into words.
So for all you Scrooges out there, put a stocking in it.
And HAPPY HOLIDAYS!