I’ve discovered that since my boys have grown up into adults, Christmas just doesn’t have the same meaning and sense of fun about it. Most of my Christmas spirit came from hiding presents, trying to wrap them when the boys were in bed and playing Santa on Christmas Eve. I still hide the presents and wrap them in private – its no use waiting till the boys go to bed because they are usually up far later than I am! But the days of playing Santa have long gone.
Strangely enough I still believe in Santa and, whenever I state that fact to the boys they tease me. But I do. I believe in the spirit of Santa, in the thought of Santa, in all the things and feelings and emotions he stands for. I believe that even if each of us can find one small way to play Santa every year, he will continue to exist.
Most years I try to play Santa by donating food or money or both to the Salvation Army, but I have to admit I’ve struck a few lean years and the donations haven’t been quite so large lately. One year the boys and I picked some gifts to give to anonymous children. It’s getting very close to Christmas and I haven’t decided how to play Santa this year.
We have much simpler Christmas celebrations nowadays. This year my eldest son will be on the other side of the country (first Christmas away from home), my middle son will be nursing a hangover (friend’s birthday party on Christmas Eve) and my youngest son will have his arm in a sling (shoulder surgery next Monday). So I’m planning a simple platter of yummy meats, cheeses, olives, crackers, etc and some sort of easy to eat desserts all served with a bottle of bubbly I was given on my birthday. No doubt we will open presents first (maybe I will get one this year?) and eat late, munching through the rest of the day. Christmas and food just seem to go together!
Perhaps when my boys start having their own children – and I hope this will be quite a few years away – the fun of Christmas will return again. For me, Christmas is just not the same without the surprise and delight in a child’s eyes.