In case you haven’t noticed, Christmas is coming. All the winter holidays are coming, and we can’t even escape. Usually by this time I've made a trip to Walmart, off the island of course, and purchased plenty of wrapping paper, tape, pajama pants, toothbrushes, and Hershey Kisses to stuff at least ten stockings.
This year, we opted to spend our reserves going to Maine in October, a decision I thought we might regret come December. But I don’t really regret it. My children are what I would call “grown-assed kids” now, and I don’t worry about the stuff under the tree as much. Unfortunately for them.
I still love Christmas though. It’s not even about presents, although my grown-assed children still gather under the tree Christmas morning. (And I will do everything within my power to see to it that they continue to do this until they reach the age of 72.)
There’s just something about it all. The togetherness. The quantity of dip I prepare. The ham. The leftover ham. The red, green, and silver Kisses. The days off from work. The arrival of the grown-assed kids who don’t currently live with me. In the best sense of an oft-used phrase — it really is “all good.”
One of the first Christmases I spent with my “new” husband, Chris, he thought it was a good idea to buy me socks for Christmas. We had made that vow that all married couples make: “Don’t get me anything for Christmas. We bought a dishwasher this year,” or some such nonsense. So, Christmas Eve came, the day I let the grown-assed kids open one gift from me and the gifts to each other. All the kids were looking at me as I opened the squishy package from Chris. They knew we were still newly-sort-of-weds and they were curious. I opened a beautifully wrapped pair of black socks. And then I didn’t open any more packages from Chris. Because that was the only one.
Somehow he had taken that vow of “Don’t get me anything for Christmas. We bought a dishwasher this year” seriously. All wives know this promise is only made in jest. None of us mean it. Really. We say this and at the same time we’d really like a fine piece of jewelry, preferably one made of at least 14K gold, or in a pinch, white gold. And the fact that husbands don’t understand this leaves us shaking our heads.
Just now I watched as my husband emptied the entire refrigerator and wiped down the whole thing. Before this, he asked if I wanted him to cook something for supper. And before that he drove me to work and as I left the car, he asked me if I needed him to bring me some iced tea or coffee anything else I might need.
I know from now on any socks I unwrap at Christmas will come with a sweet necklace and an apology. And this is why I love the season. This and, as you know, there’s Jesus and Mary and Joseph, this time I say it without blasphemy. Merry Christmas to all of you…and especially those who get socks under the tree or those who don’t even have a tree.