Merry Christmas

Tonight, the hope is that the stockings will be hung by the chimney with care and not a single creature will be stirring all through the house. After the kids, with visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads, are nestled all snug in their beds, some fat guy in a red suit will hop from rooftop to rooftop, magically sliding his way down chimneys to deliver Christmas presents to all the good children of the world. Or so the story goes.

Over the years, we’ve seen the increasing hybridization of Santa Claus and increasing commercialization of Christmas. We see the shoppers rushing home with their treasures after they battle their way out of the parking lot. We see families enthusiastically “discussing” politics over a deep-fried turducken, all while wearing the ugly sweaters they purchased for the occasion.

When I was younger, I was under the impression that Christmas was for the children. This is when they get to receive all sorts of fancy toys and eat all sorts of sugary treats. As a young adult, I maintained the assumption that this time of year was for the kids. But things are different now.

Now, I realize that despite all the stress and difficulty of the holiday season, Christmas isn’t really for the kids at all. It’s for the parents of these kids. It’s for the parents to see as their children’s eyes light up with wonder and innocent joy.

Christmas Tree

Whether it’s gawking at the giant Christmas tree in the hotel lobby or going to ride the Bright Nights Christmas train in Stanley Park, it’s heartwarming to see just how much the little ones enjoy this time of year. Adalynn’s not old enough to remember any of this, I’m sure, but she will start to remember in the coming years and I look forward to the new family traditions we will create.

As a lasagna-loving feline once said, “It’s not the giving, it’s not the getting, it’s the loving.”

Merry Christmas, everyone.