I don't care how many times I have to be reminded that I'm over 40 and not a kid anymore, it still doesn't sink in. (Well,... until I pass in front of a mirror.) When it comes to Christmas, I'm still just a big kid at heart. I love carolers, decorations, lights, the hustle & bustle of extra shoppers in the stores, the Christmas cookies and parties, and seeing the real – yes, REAL – Santa Claus! I got to sit on this real Santa's lap the other day at Indian River Coffee Company during a holiday event held there. Carolers from Merritt Island Christian School performed while coffee drinkers made greeting cards with me and my fellow consultant Jacki for the troops overseas during the holidays. They were so amazingly talented, those carolers. So sweet and smooth was their harmony. I especially loved the deep baritone of the male singers. I could have sat there all day listening to them.
But back to Santa. This guy was the real deal. He had the beard, the white hair, the rosy cheeks and the belly that shook like a bowl full of jelly. While I was a bit sheepish, but not terribly so, I asked Santa if I should sit next to him, so as not to crush his jolly old leg. But he insisted he was up to the task, so down I sat. While Jacki took a few photos, I sat there like a happy little tyke, all grins and giggles, then Santa started offering Jacki photo-taking techniques. I guess he's kind of an expert on the subject, having been photographed about a bezillion times. Happy with the outcome, I thanked Santa for the photo-op and went back to my seat. Later that evening, when I was tucked snug in my bed waiting for the sugarplums, I realized with dismay that I forgot to tell Santa what I wanted for Christmas! Whatever shall I do?
Truth be told, when I gave it some thought, had Santa asked me what I wanted I couldn't have come up with anything in particular. I found that odd, since every year since I can remember I've always had a list of things a mile long. At first I was worried, wondering to myself, "Am I turning into an old fuddy-duddy who doesn't get excited about wanting a gift anymore?" The things I can actually think up are things that I can and usually do buy for myself throughout the year. "Maybe I'm buying too much stuff," I said to myself. I reflected on how it was when I was little. The only time of the year that I got toys or special gifts was either my birthday or Christmas, and those dates are a week apart. So it was a full year until I got any "stuff" again. It got me looking at my daughter's life. Being a child in this day and age is so much different. We certainly aren't the type of parents to buy her any and everything she wants anytime she wants it, but we do buy her things she really likes throughout the year, if we feel she has earned or deserved them. But then, she still comes up with that mile-long list come Christmas and she still gets excited about getting presents. What has happened to me?
Now giving gifts has become my favorite part of Christmas. I love to make handmade gifts as much as I have time for. There's nothing like the look on someone's face when you've given them something they really love and enjoy that you made with your own hands and heart. It's the best feeling I know!
I can only wonder if perhaps I am maturing...