Monday, December 21, 2009

Take That, Inner Child

Wow, the word "Inner" looks really bizarre in writing. I've never noticed before.

Anyway, to the blog!

I realized today that Christmas was less than a week away. Not exactly a feat of mental gymnastics, I'm aware, but it was a realization just the same. With that realization came another thought, which went a little something like this, "Remember when knowing Christmas was around the corner was cause for a change of underpants?"

It's true, I grew up in a house that, from the day after Thanksgiving until the new year, was decked out floor to ceiling and stem to stern with wreaths, nativity scenes, Santas galore and, of course, a big ole tree with a train underneath. (I think this is one reason I don't care much for New Year's Day, it generally meant work undoing all the decor.) The thought of the presents alone was enough to send me into palpitations but that wasn't all. I loved all of the Christmas specials; Frosty, Rudolph and that lot were wonderful but I also loved all of the Flintstones' takes on A Christmas Carole (I think there were three in all) the Very Brady Christmas, and anything else that plopped a tree in the midst of characters I knew and loved. My mom baked all manner of delicious stuff; fudge, sugar cookies, party mix, etc. which she kept replenished all month long. Even church became enjoyable because first we did a pageant and then we had a midnight service on Christmas Eve and I got to stay up for it, all the way to MIDNIGHT!

Yup, there's a little kid somewhere way in the back of the bus that is my psyche screaming for joy that our next stop is Christmas. The problem is, there's a curmudgeonly old driver who can clearly see the potholes. Decorating is work, the presents are just more things I have to find space for in my overstuffed house, the specials are trite excuses for selling me razors and jewelry, the cookies and fudge are empty calories which I certainly don't need (but will likely have none the less) and I stay up all of the way to midnight most nights anyway. Suffice to say, the guy at the wheel has successfully shouted the little boy into his place, "Sit it down, and shut it up. I will turn this holiday around RIGHT NOW!"

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that I can see the strings holding up the marionette, if you'll pardon the peculiar metaphor. I can't imagine a sadder prospect than a grown man who still leaves cookies out for a jolly old elf who will never come. It is my time to manipulate the puppet, to pull the string so that little ones like my nephew can have the sort of magical holiday that I once had. But I do feel that I owe that little kid in the last seat something. After all, if not for him, I wouldn't be here. So, this Christmas I'm going to let him come a few rows up. I'm going to find the magic in the wreaths hanging on people's doors, the wonder of a stop motion reindeer taking flight and amaze myself by the fact that I get to stay up all of the way to midnight. I don't know how successful I'll be, but I'm going to give it a shot.

Merry Christmas.


  1. Hey! Your inner child got toys for Christmas. Is that good??

  2. The curmudgeon that I am married to was transformed into the jolly old elf himself with a bit of red. It was quite the sight!