The Joy of Christmas Morning
As a child, you woke up on Christmas morning with an unmatched feeling of anticipation. Christmas was the highlight of your year. You jumped out of bed at 5 a.m. and rushed to the living room to see what new riches awaited you under the tree. You knew you weren't supposed to start opening presents until Mom and Dad were up, so you went to their bedroom and leapt on top of their sleeping bodies until they got up. (You were blissfully unaware of the fact that they'd stayed up until 2 in the morning on Santa Duty.) You tried to wait patiently while Dad made coffee and Mom made sure there was a roll of film in the camera, but your heart was pounding with holiday adrenaline. Finally, when both parents had appeared in the living room in their bathrobes and with bags under their eyes, you tore into the beautifully wrapped presents. Fifteen minutes later, it was done. You took your new bike outside or set up your new game console and spent the rest of the day in happy play, never noticing the noise of the vacuum or the flurry of activity in the kitchen as your parents prepared for the dinner guests.
Now, as an adult, chances are you're the one being dragged out of bed on Christmas morning with only three hours of sleep under your belt. You've spent the last month trying to find the perfect gifts for your kids, and then another several hours wrapping them on Christmas Eve, and now you get to watch the joy on your kids' faces as they destroy the living room in record time. You're the one who gets to spend the rest of Christmas morning picking up gift wrap, basting turkey, and cleaning the kitchen in preparation for the stream of relatives who will soon be arriving. If everything's going smoothly, you might get a chance to watch your kids play with their new gifts for five minutes. Enjoy it while it lasts, because by tomorrow afternoon, they'll be complaining of boredom.
When you were a kid, the holiday season was a month long cookie and candy fest, punctuated by pie. Your stomach was a bottomless pit for gingerbread and candy canes, and you had no problem filling the leftover space with turkey and gravy and mashed potatoes and stuffing.
Now, you're an adult. It's Christmas Eve and you're at a party. You have eaten one small plate of hors d'oeuvres and the tiniest possible sliver of pumpkin pie, and you were just about to participate in the champagne toast, when all of a sudden the heartburn waylays you. Uggh. And you feel bloated. When you catch a glimpse of yourself in the hall mirror, you realize that you look bloated, too. Blast it all! Why is it that every holiday season, the very air around you fills up with tasty, delicious, fatty, indigestion causing, DELICIOUS edible treats? It takes you until October to work off the extra holiday pounds, just in time for another holiday season to begin.
Dreaming of a White Christmas
As a kid, Christmas was already the second most special day of the year, ranked just slightly below your birthday but safely above Halloween and the first day of summer vacation. But there was one thing that could make Christmas even more special, and that was if it snowed. Not just a flurry or a dusting, but a good, intense, overnight snow dump. If you woke up on Christmas morning and there was a foot or more of snow on the ground, it was like having Christmas and your birthday rolled into one. Think of all the hills you could sled! The snow forts you could build with your friends! The snow balls you could hurl at your younger siblings! Holiday snow is the stuff childhood memories are made of.
Now that you're all grown up, snow is still a pretty sight to see, but a white Christmas probably brings up more feelings of stress than opportunities for fun. Take some pictures of that pristine, picturesque snowfall, because by the end of the day it's going to be a maze of muddy footprints, and most of the actual snow will have been transferred inside your house, melted, and formed a small pond in your hallway. But that's not all! Tomorrow, you get to shovel it! And hopefully the road crews have done their job so that when you return to work in two days, you won't end up with your car in a snowy Christmas ditch on the side of the road.
The Perfect Holiday Gift for Mom
One of the truly magical things about being a kid is that you can give people any kind of gift at all, and they will love it, treasure it forever, praise you for it, and possibly frame it. When you were a kid, you could make Mom a picture out of dried food items glued to a piece of paper, and tears of joy would appear at the corner of her eye. And you know what? YOUR MOM STILL HAS THAT MACARONI PICTURE, tucked away in a drawer somewhere along with your first report card and a pair of your baby socks.
If you're a mom now, you're familiar with the tender, loving feelings that arise when your little ones give you homemade gifts. And you're also completely aware of the paradoxical fact that no adult in your life, be they your husband, your sister, or your best friend, can get away with giving you a macaroni picture for Christmas. It's a lot harder to give thoughtful gifts as a grown up. There's a lot more room for error. But there's at least one gift for the moms in your life that you can't go wrong with--it has MAGICAL MACARONI ART powers. And that's a gift certificate from Green Home Cleaning. She deserves it, after all that cleaning, shopping, cooking, snow shoveling, and mysterious holiday weight gain she's put up with over the past two months.