Yes, that is definitely how I feel this year! Maybe it’s true that when you get older, the things that once mattered don’t really matter as much anymore. All I know is that I am really struggling to find that magic that this time of year used to bring me.
Is it because the kids are older? Is it because as we grow older, we really feel the loss of our loved ones around this time? Things change, right? Even the amount of snow we would see as kids feels like a lot more back in the day.
Just like every Christmas season, I find myself watching my Hallmark Christmas movies wishing for that Christmas “spirit”, “miracle” and everything else they represent! I have even made myself listen to Christmas music on the radio since December 1st in hopes that it would change, and still, I feel no excitement for this special month. Is it because 2020 has been such a hard year for everyone, especially those working on the frontlines day in and day out? This year has caused a lot of us to reflect on the things that matter most to us.
I remember being a kid, Kenny and Dolly’s Christmas would always play, and the northern winters were soooo cold that as soon as you were to take a breath through your nose it was instant that your nose hairs would freeze! At nighttime, you could see the haze of the chimney smoke from each house hover over our little town. Still to this day whenever I smell a wood stove on a cold winter night, I close my eyes and sniff the air! And oh, the glow of coloured Christmas lights! The five of us stuffed into a car driving around, trying to look out both sides of the windows to make sure we didn’t miss one house. I remember my mom would always have us help her bake. She would set us up around the island in the kitchen on stools, or standing on chairs with enough space between in hopes that we would not fight with each other! I remember flour, Christmas-coloured sprinkles, and every cookie cutter shape there could possibly be. On Christmas Eve Santa would visit my grandparents and surprise all of us kids. My whole family would be crammed into my grandparents’ living room. My grandfather would have the woodstove stoked so that we felt like we were melting like Frosty the Snowman. But nobody cared, we were loud, we ate too much and it was truly magical.
I could never sleep on Christmas Eve, and I was always the first one up and woke the others by jumping on their beds yelling “Santa came! Santa came!” The three of us ran down the stairs where our stockings hung all the way down the staircase. We would jump and scream with excitement. My dad would be the first to get up between him and my mom. He would take down our homemade stockings from the staircase with the instructions of “wait until your mother gets up!”, and then he would get coffee started for himself and my mom while she was getting herself ready for the busy morning of watching the joy in her children’s faces of the magic that Santa left for her family. She never opened any of her gifts, she sat, watched until we were all done making a mess in the living room and then she would open hers. Even our little Chihuahua Bambi would be running, and sniffing with excitement to see what Santa left for her! We would go on to have a very, very busy day with family visits to different homes, with cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents, and always so much food and sweets.
I do miss my childhood Christmases; they were absolutely perfect. My parents made it so magical, special, warm, and exciting! And if I could turn back time, especially after the year we had, that is exactly where I would go, revisit one of my 80s Christmases to have those feeling and experiences all over again.
“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until becomes a memory – Dr. Seuss”
For anyone else feeling uncertain after the challenging year we had, or those who are missing loved ones, my wish for you, and for me, is to still try to make the most of this magical time and make new memories to last for many years.
Wishing you the very best of this Holiday Season!
~ Crystal Leopold-Chartrand, Recruiter, Plan A Sudbury & Toronto