I survived Christmas 2005!

All that griping, groaning and whining… and in the blink of an eye it’s all over.

In the end, though, this Christmas wasn’t so bad after all. The only downer was that my sister and her husband weren’t there, but she did call on Christmas morning, so it was nice to hear from her anyway.

And spending time with family and friends are really what make the season so wonderful after all. As I get older, I find myself seeing them less and less throughout the year. It’s sad, but that’s how things go sometimes. I think the last time I saw my Aunt, Uncle, Cousin, her baby and family was in June for the baby’s first birthday. I couldn’t believe how much time had obviously passed since then! The kid is already walking and starting to talk! Where did the time go???

The baby was, of course, the hit of the party. Not only is she drop-dead adorable, she also has such a personality. At one point early in the evening, we were all gathered around my Aunt’s basement TV watching a holiday special. One segment featured a marching band and she immediately started jumping up and down and clapping her hands to the music. Suddenly, she turned around and looked straight at me. I was fixated on her watching the show and having so much fun. She ran over, grabbed my hands and motioned them to start clapping, as if to indicate that “You have to clap too!” I couldn’t believe how this tiny little thing, only 1 1/2 years old, was able to take charge of that situation and make me absolutely melt. After a few seconds to make sure I was clapping along, she ran back to the TV, only to turn around again after a while to admonish me a second, then a third and a fourth time. By the fifth time, I was in hysterics.

This tiny little girl completely made me forget my Scrooge-like attitude about Christmas. She had so much life and energy and joy about the whole holiday, that I realized that I had forgotten what it was like to be a kid at Christmastime. I forgot the joy of anticipation, the mystery of Santa Claus, and the thrill of wonderful gifts to play with and enjoy. I forgot about the stories, the goodies, the hugs from grown-ups, and the warmth of family.

It’s times and situations like this where I mourn the possibility that I may never have children of my own. To see this one slice of life through a child’s eyes is so fascinating to me, and so moving– I can only imagine what it must be like to see all of life through a child’s eyes, as he or she starts as a tiny infant and grows into an adult. I see my parents and how they look at my sister and I, and although it makes me sad because we are all getting older, and that’s never fun– the love they have for us, and the warmth in every wish they have for us make me long to experience that part of life as well.

Maybe I will get to experience it someday. Maybe I will meet the right person to spend the rest of my life with, and we will go down that road together. But right now it seems a distant possibility. In the meantime, I have my family and their families to experience those joys with, however often those experiences may be.

That is something to be thankful for, and to celebrate throughout the year.

So I hope you and your families and friends had a wonderful holiday, whichever holiday you celebrated. I hope you experienced the love and the wonderful joy of family and friendship wherever you were, and are able to experience many more times in the future.