Today is Christmas (obviously). But I don't feel like giving a Retail Holiday Rant this year for some reason. I think it has to do with the fact that I rediscovered the reason for Christmas this year. I was writing to a friend last night, while I was waiting for Santa to come (we seriously needed to chat because for the past few years I've asked for a boyfriend and he has not delivered) and I just wanted to share a small part of the email with everyone:
Do you remember when you stopped believing in Santa? I do. Let me tell you that story. I was about 8ish and my mom pulled me into her bedroom one day during the Christmas season. I thought maybe I was in trouble because you don't normally get pulled into closed doors without being in trouble :-). She sat me down and proceeded to tell me Santa wasn't real, that he was made up for small children to believe in. I remember my eyes were so wide! I had no idea! Santa wasn't real? At that moment, I felt so grown up, though. I was let in on this big secret. My mom then told me that I had to keep the secret from my younger brother and sisters and pretend for them until they were old enough to be told. My nephew, Jimmy, does the same thing now. He's 11 and he's so good at pretending to believe for his younger sisters that I had to whisper to my sister, "does he know?" My nephew, Jimmy, is awesome. He is definitely a special, special spirit. He should be at the age where he's starting to focus on himself, where friends are more important to him than family (don't get me wrong, he is super social and has lots of friends), but he's so great with his older brother, Daniel, who is severely autistic and, although he is sometime the typical "older brother" that teases his little sisters, they all love him to bits. And he is such an impressive young man. He met me at the door tonight and I was carrying several bags and he immediately takes most of them from me and asks if I want them up in my room...without me saying anything. Seriously great kid. Plus, he's smart. Like he could have skipped a couple grades smart. He just finished the Lord of the Rings trilogy. I didn't read that until a few years ago when the movies came out and I thought they were definitely adult reads. I'm fairly certain at age 11 (when I was reading Baby-Sitters Club) that I wouldn't have been able to get through the Lord of the Rings. And he hasn't lost the ability to give his old aunt a hug. I love it. I was worried when I moved back down here that he would think he was too old for that (and there still may come a time when he is), but for now, I am enjoying the fact that he loves to just hang out with me because I'm cool...and his favorite aunt (although he is smart enough to know he can't say that anymore ;)). One great thing about being single is that I can be the favorite aunt. Whenever I am at a sibling's house, I am able to focus on just them. I don't have to chase around any kids or do anything else besides that, so I am able to make them feel special. Plus, I really do like dressing up and dancing around...or playing a video game, if they teach me...or discussing the latest and greatest books...or just running around outside. Kids love the active participant. Hehe...my niece, Deena, asked me tonight (I am also her favorite aunt ;) and truth be told, she holds a very special place in my heart, and haha, she's turning out to be just like I was as a kid...my poor sister), anyway, she asked me tonight if I was going to stay forever at her house. She loved it when I lived here, but I told her, no, I wasn't going to live forever at her house. Then, I told her that her mom probably didn't want her to live forever at her house either. That one day, she would live somewhere else, too. Deena looked confused at this. I just chuckled and gave her a hug. Someday you'll understand. But you know what I realized tonight. And this isn't any great epiphany or anything like that, but while I was having these conversations and hugs with my nieces and nephews, laughing with my sister and brother-in-law, something softly whispered...this is why Christ was born. This is the real reason for Christmas. Family. Eternal family. Family brings such joy to me. Yes, sometimes my family drives me crazy, but for the majority of the time, such joy. I cherish them.
Merry Christmas everyone!! Celebrate the Spirit of CHRISTmas.