I love Christmas. I love the lights, the joyful productions and the time’s slow, aching rhythm.
My favorite part of Christmas is November, when the anticipation has just begun, and candles and catalogs first appear.
In our house, I am definitely the Elf to my husband’s Santa. While I am in charge of quirky stocking stuffers, he is Father Christmas. He pores over our children’s lists, calculator and graphing paper in hand. Each year, as the momentum builds to a delicious intensity, I have to guard the Christmas loot from his obsessive evening out.
Just like any family, we have tried-and-true holiday traditions. My husband carefully wraps each present in special wrapping paper that he picks specifically for each child. Because of this, nametags are unnecessary; he simply hands out the presents by paper. The children love assisting him in wrapping for others, reveling in time spent with him and in sneak peeks.
Finding out which paper he has chosen for us is a highlight of every Christmas morning, as the children recall gift wraps of Christmases past. “Remember when he got me the Harry Potter wrapping paper?” “The Princess paper?” This year, there was a cacophony of themes: Dr. Who, zombies, horses, manga, Spongebob and the Nativity scene (me).
But, Christmas 2013 was definitely different. We have unanimously dubbed it the weirdest Christmas ever. In fact, we stumbled through December muttering, “Weirdest Christmas ever.” While most of our traditions made the cut (my husband and I never shopped together though; I missed that), this weirdness kicked the pace from our usual ambling to warp-speed.
It seemed as if every time I turned around, something blocked me from Christmas. I feel like I was Charlie Brown on the pitcher’s mound, hit by Christmas 2013’s line drive, pinwheeling through the air, only to crash in a heap of bewilderment.