Song of the Moment

Song of the Moment: "Shake it Out" by Florence + The Machine

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas: In the Eyes of a Six Year Old

I recently spent the day with my niece and nephew, who are six and two and a half.  It’s this time of year where watching children get excited about Christmas is really fun to see.   As we get older we forget what it’s like to wait for Santa to come down our chimney and surround our tree with presents.  We rush around from store to store to hurry and get our shopping done.  We’re often too busy to stop and look around at the affect December 25th has on the little ones.  I thought I’d take this opportunity to tell a little story of what Christmas is like for a six year old.  After the post, if you’d like to share your favorite Christmas memory from when you were a child you are welcome to in the comments section.  Merry Christmas!  

Abigail opened her eyes and saw a stream of light coming through the curtains in her bedroom.  It was morning, but it was much brighter than usual.  She sat up in bed and rubbed her eyes.  She shoved her special blanket, which was mostly just a ball of yarn now after being loved so much, under her pillow so it wouldn’t get lost in the clutter of her room.  She got up from her bed and went to the window.  Outside on the lawn was fresh dusting of snow.  It had already snowed three times this winter but her excitement never diminished.  Each sight of snow was like she’d never seen it before.

Abigail rushed to put on her clothes.  She dug through her drawers to find something warm enough to wear in the snow.  She hurried down stairs, said good morning to her parents and ran out the door.  After just stepping a foot in the snow, the front door opened and Abigail was told to come back inside.

“Have some breakfast first and then you can go play.”  Her mother said.  This did not sound like a good idea to her.  Who knew how long the snow would last?  She had to enjoy every minute of it!  Abigail came inside, took her boots off and went over to the kitchen table.  She sat and ate her toast with peanut butter and watched the cartoons her two year old brother was watching.  She had so much excitement filling every muscle that she couldn’t sit still.  It was like the entire days energy was going to burst out of her pores.  She ate the last bite of her toast and asked her mother if she could go back outside.  She was told that she could play for a few minutes, but then she had to get ready for the trip to the mall.

“I don’t remember you saying we were going shopping today,” Abigail said as she put her boots back on.

“We’re not going shopping today.  Today is the day we’re seeing Santa.”  Her mother said casually as she was cleaning the peanut butter off her brother’s hands.  That last sentence her mother spoke stopped Abigail dead in her tracks.  “We’re seeing Santa today?” she thought to herself.  That definitely changed her plans of playing in the snow.  She had preparation to do!

The ride to the mall was excruciatingly long.  A 45 minute drive felt like a lifetime to her, especially when the most exciting time of the year was within reach.  She had practiced what she was going to say to Santa when she saw him.  She repeated it to herself throughout the whole car ride.  “Please, Santa, I would like a Barbie Airplane,” she said to herself.  She remembered that Santa liked children with manners, so she was going to remember to say please and thank you.  She knew that the Santa she was going to see at the mall wasn’t the REAL Santa, but he was one of his helpers and would relay the message on what to bring her, and would probably tell him if she wasn’t polite.

The days after seeing Santa dragged by.  Christmas morning wasn’t coming fast enough.  There weren’t enough activities during the day to keep her busy and help distract her from what was really on her mind.  “Was Santa going to bring what I asked for?  Was I good enough this year to get what I want?” she kept asking herself.  She hoped and prayed that she was on Santa’s “Nice” list.

Finally, it was Christmas Eve.  She was exhausted from playing with family at the Christmas party and it was time for bed.  The last of the relatives had just gotten to their cars.  Her brother had fallen asleep on the couch so her dad was carrying him upstairs.  Her mom turned off all the lights in the living room, except for the tree lights.  While her parents were putting her brother to bed, Abigail looked down into the living room from the top of the stairs.  The twinkling lights were hypnotizing.   Each bulb on the tree was glowing from the lights reflecting behind it.  Blues, greens, pinks, purples, all colors of the rainbow were shining in her living room.  It wouldn’t be long until Santa came.  Knowing how Santa can’t come if you’re awake, she rushed into her bedroom and jumped into her bed, throwing the covers of her head.  She pulled her special blanket out from under her pillow and was asleep before her parents came to tuck her in.

In the middle of night, not quite before the sun had come up, Abigail heard a noise.  It was just the furnace turning on, but the sound made her remember that it was Christmas morning.  Not knowing how early it was yet, she quietly got down from her bed and looked out her window.  It wasn’t as dark as it had been that night so she was sure it was almost morning.  She had to see if Santa had come.  She had to know if his helper had given him her message.  She opened her bedroom door slowly so it wouldn’t squeak and tip-toed down the stairs.  She kept her eyes closed and tried not to look at the tree, so she would have the full affect once she was in front of it.  Her last foot reached the bottom step.  She opened her eyes.  The colorful, sparkling tree was surrounded by mounds of presents.  In front of the tree, in all it’s glory, was her Barbie Airplane.

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