I love Christmas. The food. The people. The gifts. The good cheer. All wrapped in tradition. Or at least it is for me.
Growing up I would beg my mom to take me to the mall, so I could sit on Santa Claus’ lap and regal him with the list of toys I wanted for being such a good girl. The good girl part was probably a bit subjective on my part. Eventually, my mom would cave in and take me to the mall.
When it was my turn, I did what every good girl did—I cried. Loudly. Big gushing, gulping tears. So yes, my mom has many pictures of me on Santa’s lap with tear-streaked eyes. In my defense, I was star struck. Or at least that’s the story I’m going with for now.
On Christmas Eve, I would wear my pretty holiday dress to Church where we would sit in the back with our family. My dad would sit at the edge of the pew, ready to leap into action when it was time to light the candles at the end of the service. He didn’t have visions of sugar plums dancing in his head. No. It was more like visions of Tanya’s hair catching on fire which – I’d like to point out – has never happened. Thank you very much.
Going to sleep Christmas Eve was torture, but eventually, after much pleading and reminders of Santa being unable to visit if I was awake, I went to bed. But I’d still wake up hours before sunrise to see if Santa had paid me a visit. Yes! He had! I’d wake up my brother, so we could sit by the fireplace, admiring our gifts until mom and dad woke up. Occasionally, I misread the clock and would wake my brother up at 4:00 a.m. Surprisingly, he wasn’t willing to sit with me until morning and went back to bed.
Me. No way. I was in it for the long haul. And when the sun began to peek up over the horizon, I would stand over my parents until they couldn’t ignore me any longer, thanks to my incessant pacing, breathing on their faces and crooning a Christmas carol or two for good measure. After presents were open, I’d introduce new Barbie to other Barbie and soon they were BFFs. And life was good.
These days I no longer beg my mom to take to the mall to sit on Santa’s lap, but we still sit in the back of the Church. My dad still worries that I’ll set my hair on fire during the candlelight service. And I still get a sense of childish glee when I open presents, although these days it’s more cookbooks than Barbie.
Life is still good. And I wouldn’t change a moment of it.