we believe

i LOVE the winter holidays. i have always been a christmas fanatic. the decorations, the energy, my excitement, the music, the {perceived} change in weather [we live in hawaii, people! change in weather is a foreign concept for us!], the food, the traditions, the social gatherings … and the breaks from school (seriously, working in education isn’t a horrible gig at all!). everyone’s attitude changes a bit. there’s something that changes in the air … and in our attitudes.

for about 24 hours, the excitement of the holidays is pure bliss. and then the shopping ads inundate us – in print, on tv, while reading the news online. then invitations for holiday parties begin to arrive and our calendar starts to look like a double-booked first-rate financial planner during tax season. then the hunt for our house christmas decor commences – which means that we {i} need to remember where we {i} put all of the decorations at the end of last season {which was during wedding planning, after graduation, during spring rush and while our out-of-town guests were surrounding and supporting us}. then the holiday events of a 1st grader avalanches down on this already-very-busy family – we have holiday parades, the ever-on-going 1st-grade-friend birthday parties, holiday programs, PTA meetings, end-of-the-year fundraisers, class parties. delivery of christmas cards from friends and family becomes a daily occurrence which becomes a daily reminder that i {still} haven’t got our holiday cards together and mailed. planning for shortstack’s trip to dad’s house for the holiday break means that we need to somehow squeeze all the miscellaneous fun stuff that we like to do as a family during this season into the remaining 8 days – visits and pictures with santa, catching the current holiday movie {ummmm … i am SUPER excited about seeing ‘The Rise of the Guardians’ which seems to be quite low on everyone else’s priority list. what is wrong with these people??!??}, enjoying the christmas light displays in honolulu.

*whew* it exhausted me to write that list. it should not surprise anyone that after my initial 24 hours of holiday bliss, i begin to get stressed. and overwhelmed. and grumpy. and resentful. and bitchy. oh! my poor wife!

but having a 7-year-old is truly the perfect ‘pause’ button for life’s chaos.

we went to the mall on black friday {this would be after the first round of furniture shopping – if you wish to read those adventures, please see this post – it was less than fun}. we made our way into macy’s and after enduring a 40-woman line for the restroom, i found my wife and son sitting at a table in the middle of the bedroom linens, writing a letter to santa.

for 15 minutes, panda and i watched as our little boy wrote a letter to santa – by himself, cognizant of his sentences and spelling, telling santa that he had been a good boy and asking him for his wishlist items. in those 15 minutes, i exhaled my irritation with the shopping masses, i released the tension in my shoulders because our christmas tree was still sitting in a pail of water and still bound in rope, i acknowledged that it was likely that all christmas decorations would probably not be found nor displayed by the end of the weekend … i looked over my wife’s shoulder and i smiled at our amazing little boy as he held up his letter to santa with so much pride and excitement.

believe1it is so true … christmas magic quickly is lost on adults. we get caught up in all the trimmings and forget the season. for some, it is a religious time of celebration and worship, for others it is a time to appreciate the close of another year and the abundance that surrounds us, and for yet others, it is just a fun time of the year to hang out with the people that we love best and enjoy personal/family/societal traditions and rituals that simply make us happy.

so, if you need to take a moment to exhale and find a way to again believe in the magic of this time of year, find a 7-year-old and have them write a letter to santa {if you’re in need of one, you can borrow ours … maybe}. or, if you’re really searching for your way out of the chaos, take a moment a write a letter to santa yourself.

happy, happy – merry, merry – and may this holiday season be one of pure joy for you and yours …



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