This is one of my favorite times of year. The others being smelling the first crisp air of fall and feeling the first warm morning in spring.
I have always loved Christmas and as a child I could barely sleep on Christmas Eve being excited for Santa's visit. Back then it was all about "what did I get?" and then seeing family and eating a huge meal. There was always focus on the fact that we celebrate in honor of Jesus' birthday, but I'm not gonna lie...I was all about the presents. I loved getting my gifts and checking out what my sister and brother got. Luckily for me they are heavy sleepers and I used to get up before them, sneak down the hall and see what we all got before waking them or going back to bed until a decent hour. I just couldn't handle the anticipation.
Now our Christmas celebrations are basically the same, we wake up, exchange gifts and have breakfast before joining for family for Christmas Dinner and gift exchange with Granny. The biggest difference is that it's no longer about "what did I get", it's more fun to watch everyone open what we got them. I love getting everyone something fabulous and sometimes I can't stand the anticipation of them opening their gift. I like this shift in attitude, I feel that it more accurately honors the true spirit of the holiday.
Tonight is the first night that Santa will visit Madelyn. I can't tell you how much fun I have had setting out her santa gifts. We are all prepared to video tape her reaction as she walks into the living room and sees Elmo sitting in her rocking chair. She loves him in the store and I think (hope) her little self just won't be able to stand it tomorrow morning. I am honored to be a parent and to be able to carry on such a fun tradition with my daughter, it's even more exciting than when I was little waiting to see what I got.
I hope that you all enjoy your holidays and that you are with your loved ones during this very special time of year.