A few ideas for a Christmas blog have been gnawing at me for the past few weeks, but with the hustle and bustle of Christmas preparation, writing time has been limited. Today, I took my son to see the new “Grinch” movie. I guess you could say the “green” guy swelled my heart three sizes, causing those Christmas thoughts to meander around in my head again. Which led to the creation of this blog post, despite the fact I am under a time crunch today. I guess some things they just got to come out of you one way or another.
When it comes to Christmas, my favorite part has always been the feelings of nostalgia I get when I listen to Christmas music, watch Christmas movies, or read Christmas stories. I can’t quite put into words what those feelings do exactly, but in a roundabout way they make me feel incredible happy sad. For those selective hours, minutes or days, all is right in the world as I daydream of times past and loved ones no longer with me, as I savor and take comfort in the present. Who is it that coined the expression, “You can never go home again?” While that might be true on a lot of levels, it does not apply at Christmas time. For during the Christmas season, nostalgia reigns supreme, and children young and old experience what I like to call “The Christmas Feeling.”
“The Christmas Feeling” comes for me automatically when I hear Linus’ speech on what Christmas is all about
or I think about my favorite, frazzled Christmas mouse.
That little mouse has stuck with me since I was a kid. I was 5 years old in 1974 when the cartoon aired. The fact that I can still remember this song from it sort of bewilders me.
But there are other times, “The Christmas Feeling” just creeps up and surprises me.
A few years back, I read an article published by The Washington Post in December of 1909 on Henry McMorran centered around his young grandson, Henry Gordon McMorran, Christmas and Santa Claus. The fact that little Henry got to share an encounter with two politically famous men of the time, let alone ask them their opinion on Santa Claus, simply delights me. But what truly appeals to me is the child’s perspective, the innocence of it all, and the “Christmas Feeling” I get when I read the article from 1909. It took me back to my own childhood and my memories of Santa Claus.
Today it was the sentiment expressed in the eyes of the Grinch when he gave his faithful pup a small Christmas gift. That sentiment caused tears to stream down my cheeks without warning. There was just a certain something I experienced that made me feel grateful and thankful for my life and the love that has surrounded me. A picture of my beloved mom with her crazy hair sticking out every which way on a Christmas morning of my youth flashed in my mind. I felt the hugs of my grandfather. I tasted the popcorn balls and homemade punch my grandmother used to make. I experienced the laughter I shared with my cousins over many Christmas dinners at the kiddie table and the great debates that ensued over which page we were going to color in my grandmother’s Christmas coloring book.
But most of all, in that moment, I felt the love of my children and the pride I feel for having been graced with each of them. My Matthew John with his big smile who is all grown up now. My Emily Violet with her big warm heart, who is finding her way in the world. My little Miles, my ball of innocence. His big hugs and delicious laugh that rings out like a bell.
If it were not for my Miles laughing and crying with me this fine Monday afternoon in a movie theater, this blog would not have come to be. Our time today with the “Grinch” and my “Christmas Feeling” forever documented on this page.
Yeah, gifts are nice, but compared to the celebration of Christ’s birthday, childhood innocence, Santa Claus, the love of family and friends intermixed with Christmas nostalgia, gifts ain’t got a chance.
Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!
Wikipedia, 2018. ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas [photograph]. Retrieved from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27Twas_the_Night_Before_Christmas_(1974_TV_special)