by Micki Clark
You know, it’s funny. Christmas is one of those seasons that’s new every year–no matter how many traditions you carry over from previous years, there’s always something that’s new and precious.
There are so many things that I love about Christmas. I adore having time off work that I can spend in my kitchen, baking one delectable treat after another for my family to devour. We spend hours watching the old Christmas shows from the 60s. My personal favorite is “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”, but my children love “Frosty” and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.
What I would have never imagined about Christmas is how much I would enjoy watching my children experience the holiday. I think this is our last “Santa” year. My youngest is in third grade, so it’s a matter of time before some well-intentioned classmate spills the beans. For now, though, we are having great fun with our own Twenty-Five Days of Christmas plans.
Like many other parents, we do the Elf on the Shelf, minus the messes. He’s pretty controversial, that Elf. Every November and December, I see my friends on Facebook lamenting their decision to ever bring the little creature into their home.
I get that. There are some nights that I sit straight up in bed in a panic around 11 or 12 o’clock remembering that I’ve forgotten to move Duke to some different perch in our living room or kitchen. It happens.
It’s not that different than when we’re grumbling in line at some store that we don’t know what to buy for Aunt Martha or Grandma Susie, and is it really necessary to get something for the office gift exchange, since we’re all just going to buy each other the same $10 Subway gift cards?
That might be my least favorite Christmas tradition–coming down with a case of the Grinches.
It’s up to us to make an effort every Christmas to look past the annoying things and find the light.
Sure, it’s a bit annoying to have to come up with 25 – 30 new elf situations every year on Christmas, but it is so worth it to hear the squeal of delight every morning when my daughter finds Duke and runs down the hall telling anyone who will listen (and a few people who won’t) exactly where she discovered him.
And yes, it’s a bit frustrating to have to rattle your brain to think of gift ideas sometimes. And it’s definitely a hassle to stand in those holiday checkout lines. But isn’t it worth it to put a smile on someone’s face and show someone else that you cared enough about them to do so?
I’m trying to make that my new personal Christmas tradition. This year in particular, I’ve made more of an effort to put up decorations, because my kids adore it. I’m mailing Christmas cards, because it tells other people they are on my mind. I’m baking Christmas candies that I no longer eat, just because passing out those treats means so much to someone else. It’s not been easy, but it’s already so worth it.
Micki Clark was born in Lexington, Kentucky. A graduate of the University of Kentucky, she has loved the written word since childhood (when she was often captured hiding in the closet reading instead of doing mundane things like cleaning her room). She now teaches high school English in Western Kentucky. Readers can follow Micki on her blog, http://www.micki-clark.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/authormickisclark), or Twitter (www.twitter.com/MickiSClark).
Don’t Ask Me to Leave by Micki Clark
Newlywed Rachel Miller has everything she could want from life—the perfect husband, her dream job, and a cute little house in the country—but the daydream is shattered when her husband is killed in a tragic accident. Her mother-in-law, Nadine, takes her in as she tries to pick up the pieces, and their handsome neighbor Beau is willing to help…if Rachel will let him. Does she dare open her heart for a second chance at love?