I’m up early, early this Christmas morning.
I’ve baked egg and spinach pie and have dough rising for dinner rolls, and it’s not yet 6AM.
As a child, Christmas Eve seemed unbearable to wait through, sleep was almost impossible, listening for sleigh bells and magic, and Christmas morning started early.
When my own children were small, it was the same. The anticipation of what Santa left under the tree always woke my daughters early. Never wanting to miss a moment of their excitement was what roused me, no matter how late the wrapping and arranging and last minute preparations had gone.
I grew up in a large family and – due to simply the number of children receiving gifts – the tree on Christmas morning was awesome to behold.
Later, celebrating Christmas morning with my small family, I’d have to talk myself down from near panic at the idea of “not enough”. It was impressed in my subconscious that a Christmas morning tree should be almost buried in packages…that presents should spill out from under the tree and take up significant space in the room. Many times Christmas Eve night was spent with me madly sewing or crocheting last minute gifts, just to make a more impressive show.
This year, with no reason in the world to be up before the sun, it was pleasant thoughts and memories that woke me.
It’s easy, over the holidays, to get in a funk over what has changed.
Being big on melancholy, I usually indulge.
There are the sweet childhood memories, and all of that innocent time long behind me.
There are precious memories with my own daughters, now grown and far away.
Grandchildren that I won’t see, this year on Christmas.
Friends and acquaintances that I’ve lost contact with over the years.
There are people, so close to my heart, no longer here.
It’s sometimes too easy to dwell on loss. Not today.
But the memories are precious; I don’t push them away.
They are a part of my own history, and good company this Christmas morning.