On this, your first of a lifetime of Christmases, allow me make some wishes for you.
I wish for you enjoy your family and the one you marry into. May it be a difficult decision which one you spend your Christmas with because you want to spend time with both, not neither. May you carry with you charming stories of wonky family members and not be one of the damaged people who hates the holidays because of memories. I have been blessed in this way and I want the same for you.
I wish for you to love and appreciate the glow of candlelight.
I wish for you to love the smells and flavors of Christmas. To have a healthy sweet tooth, to enjoy but not overindulge. When you learn the trick of this, teach it to me. I wish for you to enjoy the warmth that spreads through you when you take the first bite of your still-warm Christmas cookies, but to appreciate more the warmth you feel when you wrap up the rest to give to others.
I wish for Christmas music to fill you with joy, and to have forbearance when you must suffer through yet another rendition of “This Christmas.”
I wish for you to look outside to see falling snow and feel wonder, not annoyance or dread.
I wish for you to understand the real meaning of Christmas, that this is the day that we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I wish for it to remind you of what kind of man Jesus was and that the most important thing in this life is how we make other people feel.
I wish for you to keep within you a childlike love for the holidays. Keep this light shining within you forever, no matter what.
Sometimes I start to feel my grip on Christmas slipping. I give in to the siren song of Planning and start focusing more on the things that need to be cleaned and gifts that need to be found and the laundry that needs to be done and then packed. I hope that I can hold on and hold out. That you can help me keep sight of the things that are important, that together we can love and look forward to this season because of – and not in spite of – all the craziness that accompanies it.