I'd have to say I'm ready. Well, as ready as I'll ever be. Other than a little wrapping that I'll finish up today.
I did manage to get some of my outside lights up, and even if most of my cords and displays are still in boxes, the yard does have a decidedly festive feel to it. There's been shows on TV, the last few weeks, about the Christmas Light Wars and people who go all out with bigger and brighter displays every year. One of the things I've noticed is, the majority of those displays are where most of the light stringing is done in t-shirts and sandals. I didn't have that luxury, so I'm taking a pass.
My shopping was done last week. Earlier than usual, so I'm ahead of the game in that regard. I like to do my own wrapping, but I responded too quickly to one purchase, when I thought the girl behind the counter was going to ask if I wanted a bag, but asked if I'd like that wrapped instead. I didn't have the heart to stop her from finishing the job, so I guess I'll just add some ribbon and a bow, and call it an effort of cooperation.
Last night my wife received simultaneous texts from the 2 older boys asking what we wanted for Christmas, so I'm not sure what's going to happen there. Some people thrive under pressure. Last day Christmas shopping is something completely different.
Nobody's sick! That's nice. Last Christmas was the Christmas of the vomit, but as we went to bed last night, we were all in good health. It's always nice when you're able to actually taste Christmas dinner. Looking forward to that this year.
The thing I wanted to mention was, I watched A Christmas Story last night. I didn't get to see it last year, and for me, there's just something about that movie that makes it Christmas. I know it took place in the 40's and I grew up in the 70's, but so much of it reminds me of being a kid. The coal furnace in the basement, the heavy wool winter jackets and pants, the wringer washer in the corner of the kitchen. Things that aren't integral to the movie, but still catch my eye. 30 years before I was a kid, but I know all of that stuff.
I remember there just being toys under the tree. Nothing electronic. We had a TV. It got 2, then 3 channels. And as I sit here writing this, a memory just tripped that the TV always worked better when the tree was up. It brought the humidity up in the living room up enough that my dad didn't have to get up out of his spot, walk across the living room, and smack the top of it, open handed, to stop the vertical hold from rolling across the screen so he could watch the CBC news.
Sometimes, I wonder if my kids have a memory like that, buried deep in their brains. Just sitting there, waiting to be triggered by some nostalgic show. Some distant thought or event, that will remind them that their mother and I did our best to make their Christmas's as good as we could. I hope that those spots in their brains aren't used up memorizing patterns on how to navigate their way through virtual worlds on some game console.
Hopefully those memories are there. Because Christmas is a time for memories. Old ones as well as new ones. And for what it's worth, along with the hustle and bustle of the season and trying to make everything perfect, it's the time of year that I remember my childhood more than any other. My childhood, my kids childhoods, and hopefully one day, the childhoods of my kids children.
Because to me, that's what Christmas is all about.