It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

For the both of you that read this post and get my Christmas card, I apologize in advance. One of these images is my Christmas card and I like to keep it a surprise most of the time. I just couldn’t resist though.

I despise Christmas.

There. I said it. It feels good to get that out. You see, Christmas has never been my favorite time of year. I tend to get lost the gifting rather than the giving. I like to blame it on the my father’s terrible gift receiving (I think it traumatized me as an adult) or Hallmark stores or my bad Christmas luck (really – ask me about all my stories one day). But I can’t. I really think it’s my own fault.

As a child, I tended to always be disappointed at Christmas. Call me spoiled, but I never did get the EasyBake oven I yearned for or the cherry red bike I coveted every year. It was like Santa never really got my letters that I trudged to the mailbox to post in 4 feet of snow. Eventually, the inevitable caught up with me and reality hit me hard – the delivery of the news absent of Christmases filled with Santa, magical flying reindeer and talking snowmen seemed to make the holiday lose it’s sparkle somehow. (That and the 4698 other REAL disappointments I suffered during the holidays as an adult). Mainly because I had never really learned what the spirit of the holiday was truly all about – true love.

Having a child gave me a glimmer of hope about this peppermint infused day and the real meaning behind it. I saw it fresh again – through the eyes of an innocent boy untouched by experiences.  It gave me the hope for a childhood not lost in life yet…where magic was truly possible again. And I had the ability to give this – the ultimate of gifts. And every year like clockwork, after a few short weeks of shopping and baking and holiday cheering, I feel a little jolly and joyous again. I cry at Silent Night and find my heart swell when I watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman. It makes me as happy as a the little girl I lost along the way to adulthood via reality. Together, my little guy and I bake cookies. We trim the tree and decorate our landscaping with hundreds of  little twinkle lights. We write notes to Santa together and cut out paper snowflakes to decorate the windows of our Southern home. We drink hot cocoa by the fire (errrr…gas logs) and build gingerbread houses.

And suddenly, quietly, the Christmas spirit weaves it way back into my heart. As stealthily as it got ripped away. And as purely as the little girl lost under all the layers of life.

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