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It isn't often that I wish I were younger. In fact, the older I get, the more I exhale a sigh of relief that I made it past another time era. The one exception is Christmas. This holiday makes my heart feel innocent again, my mind kicks into a high observation gear, ready to notice the finer details in the good around me and like a little kid, I still can't fall asleep on Christmas Eve and wake at ungodly hours. (I've always woke before my own kids)

Growing up, Jesus had staked a rather large claim as the overall culprit for the reason, for the season. As a child I appreciated the story behind his big day. My Mom had a manger scene that I could play with and I'd station the baby Jesus in his hay, or have him ride the camel, but mostly, I'd pack him around in my pocket until my Mom discovered his disappearance, and demanded his reappearance. I had no idea what a Virgin Mary meant, but I knew an injustice when I heard one and never thought the lady got enough kudos for being the Mother of the kid that created Christmas.

The thing I could never figure out as a child and I admit, I was one of those kids...a million and one questions all starting with "Why" followed quickly with another "BUT WHY"...(I could drive my parents kaaarraaazzzyyy)..... If Christmas was the big day for Jesus, and he was the son of God, how did fatty Santa Claus manage to snake a piece of the action as well?

The things that plagued my young mind............

One thing I knew for certain. I didn't want to land on the bad list of any power yielding, potentially tyrant (present snatching) Men. Be it God, Jesus, or the fat old guy in red, Santa Claus.

As a child I'm pretty certain that during the month of December I was thinking more about Santa's yearly judgement over my behavior (he had the naughty or nice list) more then my permanent lifetime record with God.

In December I'd harass my Mom and Dad with, "Well, come on, did you file a report with Santa? Did you tell him about this??? Or that??? I need to know what to expect and I'm ready to plead my case if you think that one incident might land me on the bad list" The threat of coal in my stocking and nothing else, was enough to encourage a proactive stance about the entire situation.
Over active imaginations don't take things for face value, we need extra assurance to ease the mind. I'd compose letters to Santa that were nothing short of masterpieces only an 7, 8, or 9 year old with a flair for dramatic tone could muster. I made sure the big guy knew all my good deeds for the year (and also assured him I would understand why my Brother should get the coal deal). I'd also throw in a prayer or two to the big guy in the sky, just in case he and Santa were in cohorts together.

I trusted nothing to fate or parental interpretation. I will say that once the jig was finally up and I started gathering indisputable pieces of evidence (I made lists) that Santa was a fraud and Jesus was debatable, I was left a bit disillusioned, but not disheartened. There was still a sense of magic swirling through the senses and I would never discredit that. For me, it simply became a search for a new and improved meaning for the season. Thankfully, I found my reasons.

I think I miss that fantastic month of anticipation and imagination now that I'm older. I took it all pretty literal when I was young. I am thankful that it's been replaced with another feeling, one I shall deem more rounded and mature. I appreciate these days how I can feel a sense of peace around most people. That the desire to do good by others, perhaps even land on that fanciful 'nice list' sticks with people long after the imaginative beliefs of childhood drift away. It seems, this time of the year people project out rather then focus on themselves. I adore that.

For that reason alone I'd say the season is worth appreciating. And no matter how my views change, I think I'll always have a hard time falling asleep Christmas Eve and wake up long before the rest of my family. I can't calm the kid still left in me..........and I won't try~~

22 Additional Thoughts:

I suggest watching White Christmas; nothing gets me into my child mindset like the sound of Bing and Danny and Rosemary, and Vera's dancing (they dubbed her voice!).

December 16, 2008 9:00 AM  

I always wake up ahead of everyone too. My poor parents because I would wake up the whole house when I was a kid. :)

December 16, 2008 9:25 AM  

I can relate to this entry quite easily. You and I...we're both a little too 'thoughtful' for our own good. LOL

Hope you and your family have a happy holiday season!

December 16, 2008 9:27 AM  

To have the faith of a child...... or some similar Biblical quote. It may not be your faith here, yet I'm reminded of the concept of embracing the innocence and good. I'm glad you feel a magic in the season, however you personally define it. Oh, and I don't "get" the whole Santa deal, either, and refused to tell my daughter that Santa was real. Sigh, she flat out told me that she didn't believe me. LOL. I'll never forget the year I pretended to stay sleeping, and watched her tiptoe to the tree and place down a gift, for ME, from Santa. Asking why can be good. That there is good in the world, is good, no matter why.

December 16, 2008 11:23 AM  

I get excited for Christmas because of my son. He sees it as magical and is so excited about Santa. If it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't even have a tree up. *M*

December 16, 2008 1:13 PM  

I have not liked Christmas much until my kids were born, then it became about them. when I moved to Michigan Christmas was one of those holidays that I could live with or without, but I have to admit that I like Chirstmas now. With the ghosts of the past mostly put to rest, I enjoy the holiday... Have a wonderful Christmas if I don't catch ya before that...

December 16, 2008 1:40 PM  

Nice posting Rach. I remember my father not being able to wait til a decent hour to wake us kids up on Christmas morning. He would wait as long as he could, then wake us all up at 3 or 4 am. Then, of course, we would be sinking like one-egg pudding by noon.
Have a wonderful holiday.

December 16, 2008 2:15 PM  

Beautifully put. I don't get as much into the Christmas spirit as I used to, but I caught the end of "It's a Wonderful Life" the other evening when Ken was snoozing on the couch, and I bawled like a baby. Gets me every time.

I wish you and your family a lovely holiday season, Rebecca.

All my best,

December 16, 2008 2:35 PM  

How neat that you still get excited about Christmas. Hope this one is great for you.

December 16, 2008 5:38 PM  

My mother was so upset as a child to find out there was no Pere Noel (Santa in French) that she vowed never to foist the fantasy on us. She remembers it as the first lie her parents told her.
I never suffered from it, to my knowledge. I could see there were no chimneys in Africa, so decided it was all terribly silly.
I did think Joseph got the shaft in the credit department.

December 16, 2008 6:55 PM  

I love that you were a dramatic child and wrote thought out letters. lol That is hardcore. : D

here is a secret of mine, I still kinda wish Santa was real. humph!

December 16, 2008 7:47 PM  

I can remember my mom telling me that when I stopped believing in Santa, he'd stop coming. I pretended to believe in him for years and years so he would keep coming.

December 17, 2008 12:27 AM  

I totally love this about you; We are so alike! I miss that anticipation too. I really do. And I always have a hard time falling asleep on Christmas Eve.

It's hard to believe it's 7 days away.

December 17, 2008 2:13 AM  

I've always said if you wish to see the magic of Christmas, look no further than the wonderment to be found in a childs eyes. I once told my daughter as long as you believe in Santa, or rather the aspect of the magic of the season there will always be a gift from him under the tree, and there is. Paul gets just as excited as I do the night before Christmas. He however waits to do his wrapping that evening. I make up his stocking, and he does mine. It's just as heartwarming as it was when I was a child, just as loving and magical.

I "Believe"...the child within us will always heed the magic of the season.

These past few days I've been able to finally find some calm after the chaos of weeks preparation. To sit with a fire burning, the Christmas lights glowing on the tree, watching those old claymation specials of years past...I believe there is still magic, compassion, love, beauty and good things yet to be found in the season. (Hugs)Indigo

December 17, 2008 11:38 AM  

You know, when I was a kid, I spent my time write philosophical diatribes in an effort to persuade my savvy friends to believe in Santa. I used all kinds of logic - including the invisible nature of Jesus, who they all DID believe in.

It's fun holding onto the kid inside of us.

Anyway, merry Christmas!

December 17, 2008 2:06 PM  

Rebecca Anne:

I loved the entry about Christmas and can relate. I agree with you about the your reason for Xmas.

I'm sorry about not emailing you back sometime back! I hope you will forgive my neglect to do so.

I wish a great week, and a Happy Holiday to you and your family!


December 17, 2008 2:09 PM  

It does seem as time goes on Christmas changes but in your heart you always want it to be the same. We grow up and have children and intill in them the same meanings we grew up with. Well, maybe some of can relate them to children since I'm not a mommy yet. Christmas means a lot in my family and it always will be it the true meaning with Jesus, and you are right Mary doesn't get enough kudos : ), or Santa in which his jolliness can brighten up a day as well. Thanks for sharing this entry. Have a happy Thursday. Luv ya!

December 17, 2008 6:47 PM  

Santa is so real! Na, na, na, I can't hear you...

December 20, 2008 7:14 AM  

Hope you have a great Christmas and thanks for the card! -Missy

December 24, 2008 12:56 PM  

I just wanted to pop in here and wish you and your girls a Very Merry Chirstmas! May your day be filled with Laughter, food and family!

December 25, 2008 12:28 PM  

I don't miss being a child because I revisit it so frequently ...really, I do.

December 29, 2008 7:22 AM  

Hey. how are you?

January 02, 2009 2:55 AM  

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