Wednesday, December 21, 2011

christmas as an adult

it's rainy and warm in north carolina. it is muggy and humid, and this weather is a fickle mistress to the corporate air conditioner. even the coffee mug under my hands is sweating.

and i've got the radio set on chistmas music. i've adorned our mantle with holly from the bush beside the porch and a nativity scene is resting on our coffee table, delicately perched upon the wood, baby Jesus shaking every time pablo knocks into it.

but it doesn't feel like christmas of old. when schoolwork ceased for a few days and we breathed a sigh of december relief in the form of cheery word searches and crossword puzzles, busywork of the best sort. when the skies were gray and cold and snow lurked around every sunrise. where the christmas tree was real, in that small corner of the living room. when i was tucked into bed beside my sister and for one second that somehow spanned into an entire month, all was well with the world. now, there are tests and papers and office work and appointments. there are days i feel like all i do is drive.

so what to do? we make our own traditions, our new little ways of celebrating. we decorate the office windowsill in lights and stay up late to watch lifetime movies under the artificial fraser fir. we put a too-heavy santa hat on pablo's head and take pictures as he paws it off. we replace the late night coffee run with eggnog and the ice cream with reindeer sugar cookies. we address christmas cards to our bosses and bring in fudge for the company kitchen.

it's not going to be the same. it never will and it was never supposed to. but to equate the magic of christmas with the magic of childhood is an unfair comparison. but that's not to say it's not a spectacular time to shed a little of our adult selves and sink into the glory of the holiday. to bring in a little of the old and mix it ever so gently with the new. to forge new paths and bridges over new rivers, one eye looking behind us at home in the distance, the other focused on the shore just ahead.


Mackenzie said...

oh, i so know this feeling. the scheduling gods did not smile upon me this year, so i am not going home for christmas. but you know what? kind of excited for the day, as it means i am spending time with a (new) pseudo family and getting some hot chocolate and going to see the muppet movie with some other sequestered friends. i think it's in the making of our own traditions that makes christmas special as an adult.

DaisyGirl said...

Wonderfully put! I was just thinking the other day about the magic of Christmas when we were little compared to the Christmas of our adult days.

Jennifer Rod said...

i know this feeling too. and although i miss the old days when i was a little girl, leaving cookies for santa and waiting for gifts, i see that now as an adult there's a new level of joy to experience, "new traditions to make"!

Amber said...

Christmas as an adult definitely feels different but a good different. At least now I get to stay up as late as I want :)

Blondie's Journal said...

I love the way this is written. When we were children, our disappointments were small and our imaginations big. As we enter adulthood, that reverses and no where is it felt more than at Christmas. The years before I had children were pretty dismal during the holidays! Once you have kids, it feed their imaginations and your own. The spirit lives on again.

Marry Christmas!


Meghan said...

as a teacher, the magic of Christmas is certainly in the children's eyes. Adults have to work a little harder for it to feel as special as it once did. But I think it's worth the work we put into the new traditions, mixing with mostly the older traditions. Memories are what make it all count!

Suz and Allan said...

Wonderful post! The magic of Christmas as seen through the eyes of a child is priceless.

Cara-Mia said...

I know what you mean. I was just thinking the other day of how wonderful Christmas time was when I was a child. Do not get me wrong, I still love this time of year, but it certainly is different. However, I suppose you are right: it never was supposed to remain the same. And I'm sure once I have my own children, it will change once more.

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