When I was growing up, the holidays were a big deal. We even called them by their given names: Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, and so on, and looked forward to every single one of them with incredible anticipation. Why? Presents of course. Oh, and family.
When you're six, and Santa leaves a pair of tube socks in your stocking, well, that’s not too exciting. However, when you’re six and get a Pogo Stick? Whoa! Now that’s a different story!
The Best Gifts and Best Rewards
As an adult, one Christmas, I let Santa do his own thing, and I gave a pair of socks to nearly 14 family members. From bespectacled cat socks, to gift box socks, to wreath socks, to nice charcoal striped socks for my grandpa - every one of them smiled and gave me hugs (and immediately put them on!) and that alone was worth it. Years later, I’m still fortunate to have some of those family members with me, and even now I get, “Hey, remember those dog socks you gave me that year? Any more of those layin’ around?”
Of course, it’s not all about the gifts or celebration socks, and as one gets older, I get this. It becomes more about family. Then if you have kids, it becomes all about them, and that’s the circle of life. I’m lucky, because like so many people, I have my kooky family members, the strange food traditions (seriously, who puts corn and carrots in jello? Leave the vegetables for vegetable socks!) and of course, fun decorations.
Ahhh, the decorations. From little villages that take all the living room space, the train sets circling around the Christmas tree knocking everything over, to not one single matching light bulb nailed outside on the house, the decorations are critical.
I’m lucky, my mother loves her decorations so much, she leaves her Santas and electric snowman up for a good part of the year, so even in May, I can always feel like the holidays are close by. Fortunately she doesn’t own a cactus, otherwise I’m sure I’d be stringing lights on it even now, in preparation for November!
Comical holiday traditions, arguing at the dinner table, telling stories of days gone by, laughing at each other, it’s certainly not boring and that’s what makes the holidays so fun. And if I have to give another pile of celebration socks away for a few more smiles and hugs, I’ll gladly do it.