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.