A couple of my fondest childhood memories date way back to my preschool years. I used to love Christmas (which child didn’t) but for a very different reason you all might think. The memories I cherish have nothing to do with presents and treats, nothing to do with family dinners or eating cakes, and to be completely honest, nothing to do with family. It is the feeling that I remember most accurately, the feeling of Christmas and gratitude.
We didn’t have a lot of money growing up and although my sister and I never lacked any of the essentials, presents were just not that rich and lavish. It was the small things, not toys, but the things we needed, pajamas, socks, stuff like that. But the presents themselves were irrelevant, at least to me. It was the anticipation the night before.
It was always snowing during Christmas and the house we grew up in had one really amazing feature. The living room, where the Christmas tree was, had a great balcony with glass doors overlooking the yard. And there was a street lamp right across the street which was the only working one in the entire neighborhood. When there was snow on the balcony ledge and the three branches above, the light was literally sparkling into the room at night. I used to stay up waiting to see the Santa as he comes to our house. For hours, I would stare at those lights on the walls and ceiling and believe it or not, those are my fondest childhood memories. During those nights, anything was possible and a massive sense of gratitude would overtake me. Sitting and waiting, wrapped up in my blanket and listening to the 8-bit sound of the carols coming from a small thingy under the tree, that was my Christmas, or at least my favorite part of it.
The snow is not at all a probability at my house these days, but there is something I found that can at least, in some sense, replicate the setting from my childhood.
I bought this yesterday and I will have it installed this Christmas. I would like for my kids to know the feeling I felt during the Christmas night. Although the kids these days are much more mature than I was at their age, there is still some magic to it, and that feeling of gratitude is something they need to feel for themselves, just like I did.
The thing is, I do still believe in Christmas magic and if my kids can experience at least a smidgen of that feeling, my heart would be full. Nothing in the entire world would make me happier.