What Does Christmas Mean To You?

As a child, I loved the anticipation of Christmas…

We decorated the house, put the tree up, baked cookies, listened to Christmas music and waited for the presents. It was magical. There were three kids, the bedrooms were upstairs, and the Christmas tree was in the living room downstairs. The Christmas tree was put in the beginning of December, but the presents didn’t show up until Christmas morning. We couldn’t open gifts until my parents got up, but that didn’t keep me from sneaking downstairs and checking out the wrapped presents under the tree. Some were so big they weren’t wrapped. I didn’t know how it was done, but each year Santa always came through with something I wanted. I still remember that wonderful surprise on Christmas morning.

My first Christmas after I got married, was also full of anticipation, but no discipline. We couldn’t wait until Christmas morning to open gifts. We gave gifts all December. This took away the magic and was the last time I did that.

Later family became more important than presents.

I spent my first 30 Years celebrating Christmas at my parent’s house. The first one I missed marked a critical change in my life. I was in the process of a divorce and just couldn’t face my family, so I choose to skip Christmas at my parent’s home. At that point, the importance of family hit home.

The magic that I had found in the gift giving moved to family. With the divorce came chaotic holidays, theoretically Santa only comes on Christmas Eve and it is difficult to be two places at the same time.

Now Christmas is found at home, surrounded by family, no matter the day. The house is decorated, the tree is up, the cookies are baked, Christmas music is playing and my husband and I are surrounded by the sound of voices and laughter.

Have a great holiday – no matter how you celebrate it!

Mary Guldan-Lindstrom

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