From behind the wrapping paper doorway, I saw the glow of the Christmas tree lights and I knew magic awaited. My parents, in their genius, “wrapped us kids in” so we would not peak for Santa or packages until it was time. We’d sit by the paper like meowing, hungry cats, pretty much pawing for the unveil. When it was time, we’d burst through the paper like linebackers at the big game. BAAM.
I like to imagine us with black football player grease under our eyes, clawing our cleats into the carpet. I describe myself as a “linebacker” along with Rachel and Joshua. However, in reality, I let my siblings push through the paper. This wasn’t an act of grace, more self-preservation: I didn’t want to be trampled. Video footage backs this history. One Christmas, I prepared all my special stuffed animals in my lime green bean bag—like tiny cruise ship passengers. Once Rachel and Joshua plowed through the paper I boated them out, all of us ready to open presents.
It might seem like Christmas “began” in the moment of ripped paper and unveiled big presents. However, that’s inaccurate. For me, the magic was the lights through the paper, the possibility that waited—the Advent of it all. I say Advent because it represents a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration, and I found my Christmas magic in the expectation.
Truth time: I drafted three other “holiday” articles before this one. Perhaps I will share them at some point. All of them seem to capture the sadness I carry pertaining to this season. I won’t go into the details now, but I wonder if you can relate to grief hitting your home around this season i.e. the loss of what once was. Perhaps with a death of loved one, a divorce, a division of some sort or just the inevitable seasons of change. Parts of this season hold real pain and joy. They can co-exist like Christmas lights in darkness, especially when I return to the girl waiting behind the paper. She knew with certainty that goodness awaited and she wanted all her (stuffed) friends to be there.
As an adult, I claim that goodness, not perfection, awaits. Unlike a child, I know that magic of possibility isn’t necessarily “set up” while I’m sleeping. However, HOW goodness unfolds can lie in a power outside of me. There is a relinquished control in gifts. I realize it is my job to do what I can to aid on the front end, to write honest articles like this one, to volunteer, to lovingly craft cards, to pick out presents and to listen. I can plan, wrap and hope…but once the bow is on the package there is no editing the response after ripped paper.
After that, and more importantly before, I open my heart to the hope of what is to come. (I hope you read last year’s article Give Hope Cider for elaborated context.)
In anticipation, I do not expect perfection. I do appreciate the warm glow behind the wrapping paper of possibility. I welcome miracles and warmth, love and even hurt. I cannot control the everything, just the something of the glow. Oh and how I focus on that glow.
Your Brave Tutu (You’re Brave Too-Too)
-Take courage in delight. Discover power in small moments.
P.S. If you liked this perspective, you might also enjoy: Toy Perspective: Outside of the Box