The Many Days of Christmas…

The Many Days of Christmas…


            When I was a kid, our Christmas traditions did not seem to last as long as they do now.  After church on Christmas Eve, our family five would drop into a dinner party, stuff ourselves with ham and turkey, play for hours with the other kids there, exchange a few gifts, and then rush home to get in bed before Santa arrived.  Come to think of it, the rush home was mostly my parents, as us kids were usually fast asleep long before we got the car warm.  Looking back, that was a pretty good way to get us to bed on Christmas Eve…play until we could play no more.  Christmas Day was the usual Santa and family.  Then, Christmas was over.


            Nowadays, Christmas kicks off in November with the arrival of the Elf-On-The-Shelf on the day after Thanksgiving.  The last couple of seasons, we’ve had our tree up before the turkey was even fried.  Then, there are walkways of lights, shopping and wrapping, Snow Day, school parties, more wrapping and last minute shopping, office parties, Christmas cards, hot cocoa, visits to Santa, letters to Santa, emails to Santa, and Santa NORAD tracking.  In December, Santa must have more paparazzi than a pregnant princess.


            We are blessed to have an extended family and many more friends whom we love like family.  That means, to our kids, the Christmas gift exchange lasts for days and sometimes weeks on end.  By the time it’s over, we’ve all gained five pounds and Dad has scarred finger tips from all those contraptions that hold those toys in their boxes.


            By the time this article is published, our families will have wound down, gathered the bags of torn wrapping paper, organized toys, and started to plan for the year to come.  At some point amid the chaos each holiday season, the kids go to bed and Jennifer and I have a few moments to breathe and relax and reflect.  It is during these moments that we get to appreciate the true value of the Christmas season.


            We give thanks for the teachers and preachers and moms and coaches and volunteers who give so much to our kids.  We reflect on the amazing amount of giving we see in our community through the holidays and year ‘round.  We cherish the close friends we have and all those that will become closer throughout the coming year.  We look back and appreciate the time we chose to spend with the one’s we love.  At the end of the day, that’s really what Christmas traditions are about.  Not the places or the parties or the food or the gifts, but the people.  Spending time; talking and playing and being with the ones we love.


            That is Christmas.  We hope you had a good one.


            Happy 2013.  Enjoy the New Year’s parties…and the people.


            Until next year, keep smiling.


-Please send comments to Drs. Parrish at