I used to hate Christmas. I used to hate being shuffled between families back and forth, as is the plight of every child with divorced parents. I hated it. Yes, we had fun with our families when we were there, but something about being handed over in a McDonald's parking lot in Bardstown, KY seemed to take some of the magic out of it for me. We got plenty of presents. We ate plenty of sweets. But that one hour ride between grandparents' houses made me loathe a holiday that most people enjoy. I was a grinch, a scrooge, whatever you want to call someone that hates the holidays.
Then I had children. Children change you in a million inconceivable ways, many of which you don't even notice until someone points them out to you, but changing my mind about Christmas was noticeable and notable. Changing my mind is a very difficult thing to do. I am not easily moved once I make up my mind about something, and hating Christmas was something I had been doing for most of the years of my life. Andy had been cajoling me about it for years, but it wasn't until I saw the pure joy of the season for my girls that my mind surrendered to the change.
This year. This year has been the major turning point in this change. This year the girls are 4 & 6. These are the magic years. These are the years that are imprinted on your mind, with all the big things making impressions. These are the years that parents want to remember, not because they are easy, but because they are filled with magic and wonder and curiosity. These are the years when Santa Claus is real and a magic elf really does stay in our house and report back to him.
These are the years when we do silly dances in the kitchen and nobody is self-conscious about it. Goofiness emanates from your pores and you feel all the feelings ever so openly and heavily. You are confident in your decisions and don't let anyone else's opinion shape your own of yourself.
You are so fully yourselves in every situation, you girls. You girls. You light up my world and make it a better place to be. Which is why this Christmas is so special to me. You are the most adorable and amazing tiny humans I have ever known and I feel so lucky to be able to say I'm your mother. You will never know how much I treasure as many of the moments as I can. Believe me, I try to forget the tantrums and breakdowns too. We are not perfect, but we are perfectly wonderful just the way we are right now, all of us.
So this magic Christmas I know that I will cherish for many years to come. I know that we live in an apartment right now, but that's gonna change soon. I know that we don't have a ton of money, but we have what we need. We have enough and that is plenty. You know only joy and plenty my dear girls and watching the magic through your eyes is what made me realize the error in my previous Christmas hating ways.
So Christmas Eve, late at night while you are sleeping, we'll put all the presents under the tree. We'll stuff your stockings full of tiny gifts and have trouble falling asleep because we can't wait to see your faces. The pleasure of watching you open presents feels so precious to me, and I can't express the warmth it spreads in my heart to feel your little arms wrap around my neck and thank us. I can't wait to spend the whole day together as a family. I can't wait to go to GG Janie's house with ALL the Melch clan and watch all the kids cavorting around together. I will take it all in with a genuine smile on my face.
At the end of the day, I might cry a little because this magic Christmas will be done. Next year will be great too, but after that one of you might not believe any more. These are the years I want to cling to and wrap up in a time capsule so I can dig it up on a rough day in the future. These are the years of magic and wonder and curiosity. These years, they are the ones I will hold extra precious in my heart. I know there will be great years to come later, but these magic years are few and I can't imagine anything being more fun than this right now.