Friday, December 12, 2008

Excuse Me, I Seem to Have a Little Something in My Eye

You know what I love about Christmas? The craziness.

Yep, you heard me. I LOVE CRAZY!!! (Like you didn't already know that.)

That first weekend of December, when Pat drags out the boxes of decorations and the tree so I can "deck the halls" around this place - that is just about my favourite day of the year (it's definitely in the running, right after Christmas day, my birthday, the last day of school, and the first day of school).

There is something so deeply satisfying in taking a day (or six) of shopping and reaching the point of being able to say, "I'm done!"

I especially enjoy the anticipation in the children's eyes as they admire the wrapped gifts under the tree.

The busy-ness of running from Christmas concerts to work parties to friend's houses is a joyful kind of insane. It's even worth the tired and cranky little ones who've been allowed to stay up a wee bit late a time or two.

The best part of the craziness, though, is the family. For a couple weeks of the year I can count on everyone available to make an appearance. Weddings, funerals, and Christmas - those special times that really bring people together. If only for a couple days...

You see, my brother and sister are technically my "step" siblings. Our families merged when I was about 12 years old. This often leaves me as "odd man out" when it comes to sibling stuff. It doesn't help that I have a pack of five kids, and they are both child-free at this time in their lives. (Not only does it mean that we don't have a lot in common as far as what we do in our free time, who we hang with, etc.; I am, quite frankly, not very available for just hanging out kinda stuff.)

This divide is often just what I accept as life. Embrace what time we do get together, but try not to get hung up on the loss of my dream (you know, the Cleavers...laughter, love, connection, being the best of friends). Every now and then, though, it makes me a little sad. But this season - this month - for just a short bit of time, wipes that divide away. We're all together, crammed into small loud places, celebrating as a family. It's crazy, it's busy, but it is oh-so-beautiful.

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