Friday, December 23, 2011

Eau Christmas Tree

This morning when I came downstairs, I got a strong whiff of the beautiful, warm smell of pine. Perhaps it was because I was still half-asleep, perhaps it was because I had put a pile of festively wrapped gifts under the tree last night, or perhaps it was because Christmas Day is nearly here, but whatever the reason, I was immediately transported back to the Christmas mornings of my childhood.

I remember bouncing excitedly on my bed, waiting for Mommy and Daddy to say it was okay to come downstairs. I remember running down the stairs and smelling the tree as I pounced on my overflowing stocking, so heavy that it was lying on the couch instead of hanging from the mantel. I remember being amazed at the crumbs on the empty plate where Santa had eaten the cookie we left out for him. I remember waiting impatiently to open presents as Daddy made a fire in the fireplace and Mom found a trash bag for discarded wrapping paper. I remember dolls and toys and games and clothes. I remember stockings full of gum and desk toys and cheap jewelry and new underwear and funny bandaids and exactly the color of new toothbrush that I wanted.

As I got older, I remember being as excited to watch Mommy and Daddy open the presents I had carefully picked out for them (with help from the other parent, of course) as I was to open the presents they had gotten for me. I remember looking forward to driving to our cousins’ house for Christmas dinner and more presents to open. I remember waking up on a few Christmas mornings and being delighted to see a winter wonderland outside my window, and I remember a few disappointments when there was no snow.

But most of all, I remember being surrounded by family, and by laughter, and by love. Just like the first Christmas, all it takes to make the day special is the love of God, the love of family, and a childlike thankfulness for the best Gift ever given.

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