Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Published by Erica on

(We got him to pose early for a picture)

Happy day for Christmas! I really can’t believe that it’s 10 days away. I remember growing up the sheer anticipation for that day… it totally built up for weeks and days that never seemed to end! Now it rushes in and rushes out like a breath of warm air in the wintery cold. In just a few days I will be back in Missouri with my family, and maybe I’ll see a few of my old friends too. They are few and far between now, scattered around with busy lives, husbands, jobs, etc. It’s amazing what a few years time will do! I remember coming back for Christmas my freshman year of college– I’d gotten used to living with girls that smelled good and I realized for the first time that my house smelled distinctly of “boy.” Chad was on his mission and we talked to him for a while. When missionaries are out the day mostly revolves around that beloved phone call. I think I take my brothers for granted a little too much these days; I should call them more often. Especially Chad. We got really close after his mission, going through similar experiences and sometimes being the only ones there for each other. LOL… those are stories for another day though.

One of my most memorable Christmases was back in Pennsylvania (and regrettably, I don’t think I’ve ever written the story down before!). My four brothers were just a bit curious
to peek into the living room on Christmas mornings, and my parents were no fools. I must have been quite young– maybe eight or nine– the year this happened. Like always, we gathered in my parents’ bedroom as early as we were allowed. Six a.m. seemed to be the perpetual compromise time. Back in those days I couldn’t hardly stay in bed that long to wait to start Christmas! We came in our pajamas and crazy hair, impatiently waiting for Dad to fish out his trusty white sweatshirt and trying to convince Mom that she didn’t need to look great for the day yet. We lined up in age order, youngest to oldest, and Mom led us out to the living room. She would always go in front, make us stop while she turned on the lights, then let us run in. This year she led us up, then stopped. In the dark house it was hard to tell what Santa had left in the living room. Once she turned on the hall light, we realized why it was so hard– the entire entry had been covered over with dynamite paper! (Perks of having a dad who makes dynamite and randomly had two huge rolls of dynamite paper wrap.) We kids stood there for a good couple of seconds, completely befuddled by this turn of events. Mom and Dad played it off great, telling us Santa had wanted to make sure no one peeked at the presents. I wonder which one of them came up with the idea in the first place; I bet they were like kids as they put it up, relishing in playing a practical joke on their kids. Finally, we tore a hole in the paper to climb through and enjoyed our Christmas gifts.

I actually left out my favorite part of Christmas in that story. The best thing about Christmas in my family happens shortly after goading our parents and right before the processional march down the hall. We gather around my parents’ bed and begin the day with a prayer. I’m not sure why, but Christmas mornings in their room feel different, even though we’re usually in there for less than 10 minutes. (Ok, it’s a little longer if you count the time it takes to get everybody in there and ready to pray). They way I remember it, the room feels very close, warm, and homey, like the cornerstrings of our hearts are gathered together for a few moments in a brief shadow of heaven on earth. Quiet blankets the room– not just quiet, but true peace– as we gather and acknowledge the real reason for Christmas. I’m really happy that I get to spend a few more Christmases at home as a grownup, because I never appreciated those moments as much as I do each year I get older.

These pictures are from an evening of ugly sweaters and turtlenecks, eggnog, and mistletoe– an event termed Turtlenog by some creative people in the ward. Christmas is about family, but in college it’s also about friends, or roommates that are as great as family. Besides, who doesn’t like a little nogging and snogging? (Just because I called myself a grownup doesn’t mean I always have to act like one. )

Merry Christmas!
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1 Comment

Michelle · December 16, 2008 at 3:53 pm

What a fun memory! Your family is so fun! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas in Missouri! I wish we could be in two places at once and be able to see everyone! 🙂

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