Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas Teaches Us Once Again

Despite a lifetime of reading and watching after school Christmas specials, Mr. Curry and I fell prey to Christmas money blues. We worried we couldn't make Christmas special enough for our kids, that we couldn't drive to far off Christmassy places, buy All The Things, decorate with abundance, cook with plentitude- because whoever you are, if you are a loving parent, then you want your children to not just have a life, but the best of life. It's just that sometimes, you really, really get scared that it might not actually be about only heart...but also about that pile of presents. And of course, for most American small children who celebrate Christmas, toys are definitely part if not most of the excitement. They are indoctrinated with the call of Christmas toys in every grocery store, Target, mall and even Christmas stories which feature elves making amazing toys for good boys and girls. This year, we were poorer than any year past, and while WE felt blessed to have the little we did, and to have the net of our families who, even if we couldn't buy one thing for our brood, fill in quite nicely with their sweet gifts... we weren't sure the kids would feel that way. It was tight enough that when I bought Mr. Curry a Christmas present-  we had agreed NOT to buy for each other- after looking at the budget I had to return it that same day. We spent the month going to free celebrations and looking at lights and watching Christmas movies and made  few batches of cookies and listened to Christmas music every day, and it was good. Christmas Eve, we finished our present wrapping and looked doubtfully at each other. The small gathering of gifts compared to years past seemed sad, depressing even. Would the kids feel sad? And as you know because you know, they were not sad, not one little bit. Their stockings WERE hung by the fire with care, and stuffed with very thoughtful things, though very small, and their gifts while not many were each lovingly thought about and carefully chosen. And each child was happy. And not one perplexed, sad, or confused look crossed their face. The Christmas music rang out, the breakfast sausage sizzled, my mom brought coffee, and it was everything Christmas should be, beautiful, heart warming, full of love. We visited our Dakota, his first Christmas morning EVER not at home..which was a little hard for me, I admit I started out the day blue, but recovered quickly for the girls. He was working hard at his job and came home after his shift was over, and I made a huge turkey and my mom taught me how to make mashed potatoes by scratch and we all ate Christmas dinner and watched a Christmas movie and it was perfectly imperfect. I felt humbled by the realization that we have done better by our children than I had feared, we have taught them about the true meaning of Christmas, and they have been listening, and believing, and that it had been US who needed to remember.  ( And just in case, there's always Grandma ;) I hope your Christmas was beautiful, too.

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