The trees have been decorated. The crèches assembled. The presents have been wrapped. The stockings have been hung. The Texas fruitcake has arrived. We have eggnog. All we’re missing is snow and a sleigh for our third installment of Christmas in Connecticut.
This is the year of enchantment and wonder. My grandson wiggles into the living room to see the big tree with all the presents underneath. His eyes light up at the ornaments. “Oh Tree,” he sighs. Almost three, he doesn’t fully understand the holidays. One day he’s a penguin; the next day Grandma is putting away the plastic skulls. One minute we have pumpkins and then poof! It’s evergreen wreaths and Christmas trees. “Where are the pumpkins?” he asks. Eaten by the squirrels. And now there is the tree. All he understands is the wonder of the tree—twinkling with lights and ornaments.
He is fascinated by the pile of presents accumulating under the living room tree. It must be a happy happy (birthday). It must be his. “Thank you, thank you,” he chants as he begins to rip the paper off a present, any present. As far as he knows, all the gifts are for him. He wants Christmas now.
I understand his excitement. There is magic in Christmas: Houses are transformed. The smell of special treats fills the air. Gifts and cards arrive. We reconnect with old friends and beloved family. We set aside our cares and differences to embrace wayward kin. In the coldest darkest time of the year, we seek the warmth of those we love. The true light of this season is our humanity. We need each other.
I want the happiness and peace of this season to last all year.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah or winter solstice, I wish you and yours a wonderful holiday.