Tuesday, December 6, 2011

'Tis the Season

I've always loved Christmas. It's a magical time of year.
I dreamed that once I had children, this festive holiday would become even more special.
But this Christmas season has been different. Maybe it's because retailers and corporate America collaborated to freak us all out by forcing Christmas down our throats before Halloween.
I feel like I'd barely made it through the pumpkin patch when the first boughs of holly decked our local mall.

I still have a row of gourds lining my garden... a bit strange considering our Christmas lights went up over the weekend. I just can't bring myself to throw them away.
Maybe I'm not really feeling the spirit of the holidays because Mackenzie has made it quite clear that she's deathly afraid of Santa.
Or maybe I'm too overwhelmed by motherhood and another pregnancy to be on top of my game like in years past. And while I've vetoed the mere thought of a simple Festivus pole this year, I'm embarrassed to admit that I can't even muster the strength to put up a tree. The fruit of my efforts seems to have been limited to some LED light branches stuck in a vase.
But the spirit of Christmas wasn't born from ornate decorations, egg nog, and ugly sweaters.  
It's about giving.  
We seem to have started a new tradition in our house this year. It involves a little elf. An Elf on the Shelf.
Now, while this Elf freaks me out just about every single morning with his crazy little eyes and a grin that seems to suggest he's a bit more naughty than nice, he brings to Mackenzie's face a smile that's brighter than 10,000 Christmas trees. I'm pretty sure she's not all that impressed by the Elf, himself. What excites her is the fact that her daddy moves the Elf each night, and she awakes every morning to find him in a new spot.  She points to him, beams with radiance, and says, "Elf.  Daddy!" 
So this holiday, it's not about whether I've already gotten my shopping done (I have) or whether or not my greeting cards are printed on high-quality paper stock (they're not).  It's not about how big the tree is or whether we were able to get a perfect picture with Santa.  
It's about Mackenzie's little game with her daddy.  And how funny it is that I'm so terribly afraid of that sassy little Elf.

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