The Best Christmas Ever
- Terri Camp Home school author and mother
- 2001 10 Dec
Just the other day I felt a sort of giddiness begin to well up within me. It was a bit unsettling, although not an unpleasant feeling. I wasnt quite sure what to make of this incredible desire to begin laughing. So, I did what all reasonable people do, I began to laugh. At first it was just a little rumbling kind of laugh, but as I continued the laughter grew and grew until it almost produced a snort. As I continued to laugh I grew increasingly aware of several pairs of eyes staring at me. Then, they too began to laugh. After several minutes someone finally said, Why are we laughing?
Im not entirely sure, came my honest reply.
Then why dont we stop? someone commented.
Because we cant! I responded.
My intelligent child chimed in, Of course we can. All we have to do is set our minds to it, and stop.
For one brief moment the room became silent as we pondered his intelligence. But then it exploded once again with laughter. We giggled and laughed until we became nearly exhausted. The laughter died out after awhile into several sighs. Eventually the room cleared. I secretly think everyone needed to get up and use the bathroom after all that laughing.
It felt really good to laugh together. While we were laughing there seemed to be no stress in our lives. The only stress was trying to hold it in (in more ways than one if you get my drift).
After my final sigh I began to think about the things that make me joyful. Christmas music makes me joyful. Decorating for the holidays makes my heart sing. Sitting by a cozy fire warms my insides as well as my outsides. A lot of the pictures that came to my mind involved winter. It could be that is because were in the midst of it, even though we have yet to get even a spattering of snow. Or it could be that deep inside I want this to be the best Christmas yet.
Christmas morning will not find us watching one another opening presents this year. It will be a mad dash to stand in the long lines at the airport for our flight to California. We will be staying there for several days and it seems to me that I want to make the holiday season full to overflowing for my children. I want this to be the year that they look back on and say, Oh remember when we did this or that? Then they all get that faraway look in their eyes as they recall special memories from this year.
I want to make memories!
Part of that means that I would like to spend more time with them. For some reason I didnt feel like celebrating Christmas last year, until it was nearly over. I think I took some decorations out the day before Christmas. What fun is that? Oh sure we made a few things, like peanut butter cup trees and peanut brittle. Actually, I dont even think I helped with the peanut brittle. I kept waiting for a wake up call. And I didnt get it.
This year, my wake up call came in the form of a giddiness that came from the deepest recesses of my being. And this time, Im determined to answer the call with tremendous fortitude.
I already have plans to make reindeer pretzel thingies for lunch. Were going to make candy canes, cookies, and add red food coloring to the mashed potatoes. Were going to make snowman-shaped pancakes and add chocolate chips for the eyes and buttons. Were going to spend time together, and drink hot chocolate while sitting around the fire. Oh yeah, we dont have a fireplace. I guess well have to create our own warmth, the kind that warms the insides more than the outsides.
I just realized that my children are getting older. That means, in a few years my house will be nearly empty. There wont be anyone who delights in snowman-shaped pancakes. There won't be anyone to sit and read aloud to. At least not until they bring all my grandchildren home.
So this year Im going to stop running through the holiday and begin a leisurely stroll with the kids. Ive realized that one of my greatest joys come from spending time laughing with my children.
For the month of December, guest night in chat will be devoted to finding ways to spend the holidays with our children.
In addition to devoting herself to her husband and the eight children she home schools, Terri also enjoys writing and speaking to offer encouragement to women in an effervescent, humorous way. Visit her Web site at www.ignitethefire.com or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out Terri's latest book! Ignite the Fire! is a guide to help the parent create in their children an excitement for learning. It is loaded with ideas to spark your children. Buy it!