Christmas with my son isn’t what it used to be.
You see, it used to be full of magic; full of wonder. Full of “I hope I make the nice list” and endless requests of “How many more days, Mommy?”
It used to be full of cute little outfits. You know the ones – with the matching bow tie and precious wool vest. And of course, the cutest little shoes I could find in his size.
It used to be full of Christmas pageants, both in church and in school. Him on the stage, scanning the crowd for my eyes – and me in the audience, waving with one hand; wiping a tear with the other.
It used to be full of Santa Claus letters. It started out with me writing them – “Mommy is writing this letter for me, because I’m still too small”. Then it progressed to him writing, with all the backwards b’s and d’s. And then by the time his handwriting was perfected…
He suddenly became too old to write them anymore.
You know, you really don’t realize it’s happening…
Until it happens.
Before you know it, they’re no longer asking how many sleeps.
Before you know it, they’re no longer asking if the mall Santa is the real guy, or just a helper.
Before you know it, they’re no longer walking around the house in their favorite Santa Claus hat.
And it just happens.
But you wanna’ know what else just happens?
You catch him putting a five dollar bill into the Salvation Army kettle, because he’s feeling the Christmas spirit.
You catch him spending hours shopping for his girlfriend’s Christmas gift, because he wants it to be just perfect.
You catch him putting his phone in his pocket when your favourite Christmas movie comes on, because he knows how much it would mean to you to just sit together and watch it, uninterrupted.
You catch him leaning over and holding your hand during the Christmas church service, because he recognizes when the memories of Christmas past become too heavy.