It is coming. There is an excitement in the air, you can feel it in the very depths of your soul. There are many preparations that go along with the family Christmas. Shopping lists, United States Postal Service tracking, and hopefully someone will remember the coffee supply is running on the low side.
You raised these children in the very same house you live in today. Yet you never gave much thought about how they felt about the bathrooms, the dust on the coffee table or the way leftovers have taken over the refrigerator. Yet, all of a sudden, you want it all to be nice. You turn on the Christmas lights, light the candles and fluff the tree so it all looks perfect.
You want to make sure the towels are all Downy fresh to remind your children how good they had it when they were home.
You make sure there is at least one Christmas decoration in each of their rooms to give it a special touch and you buy all of their favorite foods so they will all know how loved they truly are.
You have spent weeks preparing for this moment and you want to make certain it will be as good as it gets.
Then it hits you, these are your children and although they have grown up, some things have not changed. They are going to dump their wares on your freshly cleared kitchen counter where they will remain until you nag them enough to get them to put those things away.
They are going to dominate the TV, get the puppy wound up to a state (the likes of which we have never seen) and they will wonder out loud why our drinking glasses no longer match.
Worse yet, they are going to steal your phone charger, switch the remotes around and leave your iPad out for the puppy to chew on.
Christmas morning will be nothing like it used to be. They will let you sleep in, have a cup of coffee before opening their presents and the frenzy that used to fill the air will be a distant memory.
Because they gave a Christmas list with stipulations that you purchase them nothing without prior written consent, they will have more excitement watching you open what they bought for you than opening the presents they picked out for you to purchase for them.
Extended family will come, hugs will abound and conversations will flow freely. Too much food will be consumed, laughter will fill the air and memories of Christmases past will be shared.
The day will wind down and as nightfall closes in there will be a sadness you feel, right along with a relief that Christmas Day is over and you did it well.
Life will go on, folks will return to work and those darling offspring will return to their campus homes with your phone charger tucked neatly into their backpacks.
Looking back, you will know that you would not change a thing. Christmas is about the baby Jesus who brought love into the world. For over 2000 years we have celebrated his birth by letting our families know how much we love them.
We work harder this time of year to share that than any other. We pardon, we forget and we give. We go to great lengths to make people feel special. We wish a Merry Christmas to folks we don’t know and if we do it right, we lend a hand to those in need.
I will go outside on Christmas Eve, as I have done for many years, and look up into the heavens and give thanks for it all. It is a quiet moment I give to myself and to God for all He has done.
This year I am going to add a tradition following that special moment. I am going to march right back inside and hide my phone charger.
Lori Clinch is the mother of four sons and the author of the book “Are We There Yet?” You can reach her by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.