This week's writing prompt from MamaKat: I remember when...
P.S. I know I'm doing this really early this week (don't get used to it). But I've been designing Christmas luncheon invitations at work, and this topic has been on my mind.
I remember when I used to get so excited about Christmas.
I would start early, counting down the days until my birthday. I knew that once it was here, Christmas was less than a week away. I knew there would be family gatherings, lots of food, a few good laughs and always plenty of presents to go around.
On Christmas morning, it was like the ordinary rules of the universe didn’t apply. On any normal morning, I would have to be coaxed out of bed. (Maybe “coaxed” is too gentle a word. Let’s try “yelled at until I finally gave in and got up — very grumpily.” That’s much more accurate.) But on Christmas morning, I was up before dawn, shaking boxes and waiting impatiently for my parents to get out of bed so the fun could begin. I think it’s that way with most kids.
But I vividly remember when this Christmas cheer began to fade. I remember going home over the holidays my first year in college. I’d been living in the dorms, and my spirit was not overflowing with the normal joy of the season. I don’t know, maybe it was the stress of my first year of finals – but something felt different.
When my littler brother, Chase (then 5), came to wake me up to see “what Santa left,” I mumbled something along the lines of “It’ll still be there in a few hours. Go back to sleep.” That lasted about 15 minutes, and he was back, telling me to get up. It’s been that way every year since then.
Where is the magic I used to feel during the holidays? I still enjoy Christmas, but I miss the excitement that used to be there.
The last few years, the only thing that has lifted this holiday funk is the newly instated family tradition of Trans-Siberian Orchestra concerts.
At first, I wasn’t sure it would be something I liked, but I have found that during the first few notes of their opening song, I catch a glimmer of the childhood excitement, fighting its way through all of the other things on my mind. By the end of the concert, my heart is completely filled with Christmas spirit.
If you’ve never heard of TSO, I suggest you check them out – especially if you need a little holiday boost to get you in the right frame of mind. Their CDs are good, but I will go ahead and warn you — it's not nearly the same as hearing them live. You don’t get to see the light show or watch all the stories unfold in front of you. You don’t get the experience of snow falling all around you, inside the auditorium. These guys go ALL OUT. I highly doubt you’ll be disappointed.
During these shows, I remember what it feels like to completely consumed with the magic of Christmas.
I could use that right about now.
"In the moments of our lives, both the joyous and the tragic,
if the truth is to be told, we are all pursuing magic."