But Christmas morning...that was special!
When Santa came to our house, he didn't wrap the presents. As a mom, I now realize the wisdom of this. But then, I just thought it was so cool to walk down the stairs and see, right away, what Santa had delivered to our house. It was almost always the biggest and favorite present of the day. That thing that you never thought you'd get because Mom and Dad couldn't afford it or wouldn't approve. And there was such joy!
And even at a young age, I realized that the joy didn't come from the thing itself. The joy came from knowing that someone, whether it be Santa or later Mom and Dad, had cared enough to think hard, to spend their time and their money on me. They thought about what I'd like. I'm sure they had asked me questions along the way that would help them figure out what Santa should bring. Or maybe they just listened as I talked with friends. Or watched me long for something someone else had. However they figured it out didn't really matter.
What mattered was me. And they showed me that by taking time and care to make Christmas morning special.
Now I have my own children. And I still feel the incredible desire to make Christmas morning special. Money used to be more plentiful. And so the gift giving was as well. The year Anna got ice skates, a real sparkly skater's costume with matching hairbows, and lessons. Or the year Catharine got a computer. The best was the year elves set up shop in our bedroom and posted a sign on the door to keep out while they were working. On Christmas morning, the girls came in and saw the bedroom furniture that meant they weren't little girls anymore.
But this year I'm stumped. We don't have very much money. More than many others, I realize. But not enough to buy a gift that makes the girls go "Wow!"
But more importantly, we just don't need much. Catharine has finally stopped growing, so she doesn't need an entire new wardrobe. They both have all of the athletic gear they need for the sports they're playing. And we have so much. And there are so many who have so little.
I still want Christmas morning to be special for my girls. I want them to feel like they matter. That they matter to Santa, and Mom and Dad. That we have thought about them. Listened to them. Watched them. And as a result, we knew just the thing to bring joy to their Christmas morning.
And yet I struggle...