Christmas is a season of moments, magical and memorable, the stuff from which stories are sewn.
We so often think of Christmas as a single moment –
* Christ’s birth in a stable when there is no room in the inn; the discovery of an overfull stocking hanging from a mantle (a book shelf, a staircase);
* the lighting of one final candle glowing brightly under your chin as the entire congregation leaves the church singing carols;
* ripped paper, squeals of glee;
* your son’s (your daughter’s) mounting frustration with a well-taped gift, its promise locked inside;
* the doorbell ringing again and again and again as more and more and more relatives (friends, strangers, relatives of friends and “friends” of relatives) arrive; or
* the quietest hour, late Christmas Eve night when the tree glows with presents piled high underneath, when all but you have gone to bed and you can actually hear (feel, sense) the buzz of anticipation emanating from each room;
* the furtive phone call you make from the guest bedroom while family is busy with the football game (the Wii, the newest Guitar-Hero-like-game) so no one will notice you have stepped away; or maybe
* it’s that sip of coffee touching your lips in a room surrounded by the people you love most in the world, just before gifts are opened and all mysteries are revealed.
You have your moments, and I have mine, but what I try to tell myself each year is this: Christmas is a season of moments.
There is no one single moment we will all look back on years from now and say – THAT Christmas, THAT moment – not usually, not always, there is never just one moment, or… hardly ever.
Sometimes there are things that happen, and these things are the moment – your moment, my moment – and you DON’T want this moment, you want a different one. Or you want the same one, the same moment you look back on from 1987 (1976, 2010) and it will never be THAT moment and so you would rather sleep in. Or you want the moment – THAT moment, the good one you remember – for your kids (your partner, your parents, your nephew, your niece) – but they will have their own moments this year, and you will be there with them to share it.
Christmas is a season of moments and by now, two days before the blessed day, so much of it is out of our hands.
I choose to take the long view. It helps relieve the pressure I’m prone to feel as a parent on Christmas morning.
We’ve been to see the holiday zoo lights. I’ve swapped stories with some of my closest friends. In other words…
Christmas is a season of moments which has already begun.