Wistful for Christmas

My favorite part of Christmas this year wasn’t a present. It wasn’t even planned.

Nearly every night of December, after our big toddler was tucked in bed, Robert and I served ourselves some eggnog or hot chocolate and relaxed near the Christmas tree. We didn’t really discuss this, it just happened. It was almost like a nightly date, and I enjoyed soaking in the time together. It was exactly what my tired heart needed.

Christmas treeWe just finished our first year of parenting, and we have both been so tired. Our little one is an absolute treasure, but he is busy. When he goes to sleep, we share exhausted looks, then clean up the little messes of the day, before collapsing in our bed. It was a bit of magic that we managed to find those few minutes to sit together each evening, as if the Christmas season slowed the steady passage of time, just a smidge.

Now the tree is gone (or at least on the curb, patiently waiting for garbage collection day), and school has started again. I’m doing a Whole30, so hot chocolate and eggnog are forbidden, and hot tea with no sweetener is just not the same. However, I miss basking in the glow of twinkle lights before bed.

I know that time did not really pass more slowly in December, so where did those extra minutes go? (My incomplete to-do list wants to know, too.) The planner in me is racking my brain, trying to find ways to be more efficient so we can force those moments to reappear. The dreamer in me says that golden moments can’t be forced. I think both are right. I need to plan rest and connection. I also need to enjoy the memory of those moments without putting any pressure on special moments in the future.

Most of all, I am so thankful for  those nights that we managed to reconnect and rest in our quiet den. They were simple, true, unhurried. I’m thankful, too, that we both had the wisdom to accept them and enjoy them as they came. Maybe next year, the Christmas magic will bring them back to us. Or maybe not. Either way, I’m glad we had them this year.


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