I love Christmas.
I mean, I really love Christmas. More than you (yeah, that’s you, person who is reading this blog).
From the morning of Thanksgiving till December 25th, I have a holiday ribbon knotted deep inside my belly as I anxiously await Christmas morning (the sensation of anticipation is almost better than The Day itself.)
As I pry open the little boxes of my Charlie Brown Advent Calendar counting down the days, I remember what Christmas meant to me as a kid. Going to Church on Christmas Eve, listening for Santa and his reindeer on the roof, throwing-up because I would get too excited, and waking up Christmas morning hoping to see a box perfectly sized to hold an American Girl doll.
Even though I’m not numerically a child anymore, the way I feel about Christmas and the way I celebrate hasn’t changed all that much. On Christmas Eve I doodle my rendition of baby Jesus on the church program, Santa is as stealth as ever, throwing-up is hit or miss, and I still want an American Girl doll.
This year, though, I’m venturing out to make Christmas my own. I got my very first tree! …but neglected the tree stand. Not a problem. Through very clever problem solving skills, I propped the tree up with my guitar stand and plopped the trunk in an orange mixing bowl full of fresh water to sustain it through the season. It leans at a slight angle, but this only adds character to the twinkling lights and sparkly pink star that spruce up my 5 footer.
Also decking my sapling are some very unique memories. Every Christmas since 1985, my mom and dad have given me an ornament with special meaning or sentiment to eventually don a tree of my own. When I reached into the box of ornaments my mom bequeathed to me, the first ornament I picked up wasn’t one I remembered. The ornament was a little baby sleeping on a cloud and it contained a note, excessively taped to the ornament’s box, with handwriting that could only belong to my Grandma, dated 1985, “Emily, make sure your mom gives this to you to put on your very first tree.” That sensation of time passing, family tradition, and the act of putting that particular ornament on my tree was like warm chocolate chip cookies on a snowy day—it felt so nice. It hangs proudly on the best branch in the best location on my tree—my very first tree.
As a kid, Christmas was so magical and I thought that as an adult it would lose some of its luster. But, as I sit in my apartment, smelling the tree garishly decorated and leaning at about 45 degrees, I realize that Christmas is almost better. I am creating and continuing traditions, decorating my own kitschy way, and making a WAY better Christmas list (Tiffany’s, oh yeah).
I’ve been good this year. Hit me up, Santa, and make it merry!