While driving into town last week with the goal to get some Christmas shopping accomplished I was searching my brain on what to put under our tree this year. Truth be told our kids really had no burning desires on their lists. They are pretty content kiddos and they had to give it some deep thought when I asked for ideas. The problem with this is in the precedent I ignorantly set years ago when I had littles. When my oldest were toddlers their wish lists were simple and inexpensive. I loved seeing the space below our tree with beautiful wrapped gifts from Santa and their contagious excitement as they laid their eyes on it Christmas morning. Fast forward several years and my littles are now 13 and 15. However we now have a sweet little five-year-old who is completely mesmerized by the magic of all things Christmas.
So as I was driving and searching my thoughts for gift ideas I started to reflect on all my past Christmas experiences as a child. Do you know what? I didn’t remember a single gift I ever opened on those beautiful Christmas mornings.
But what I did remember put a huge smile on my face, happy tears in my eyes, and immeasurable gratitude for the experiences I have been blessed with. The excitement in the days leading up to Christmas as our house was aglow with lights.
- I remember not wanting to be assigned to third floor of our home when it was time for all of us to plug-in the 50+ candles in all of the windows of our big old house.
- I remember spending a day just my mama and me in the “city”…shopping and lunching as the sounds and smells of Christmas filled the cold air.
- I remember spending an afternoon baking cookies with my grandma….and then overindulging in our finished product.
- I remember my workaholic dad who spent a lot more time at home at Christmas and was giddy like a child the whole month of December.
- I remember the sounds and smells of our crackling fireplace.
- I remember country Christmas songs blasting through our house from the time my dad came home at night.
- I remember fun, laughter, love, and the spirit of the season that we were totally immersed in.
While I can’t recall the gifts inside the beautiful packages under our tree, the memories from all of my childhood Christmases are one of the BEST gifts I have ever received.
Sunday as the snow was falling I looked around at our house lit up in Christmas splendor. Fresh aromas filling our home from candles and cookies. “Classic” country Christmas playing on Pandora. My three boys snuggled up enjoying a day of just “being” with dad and mom. I realized no gift I could ever purchase will ever come close to the gift we all received that day and countless other days we share during this magical time of year.
The older I get the more I cherish the value of time over things. Happy Holidays friends. May yours be filled warm cookies, twinkling lights, and moments that become cherished memories for years to come.