Ghosts of Christmas Past

Today I decorated our Christmas tree. The guys wanted to take naps instead, and I decorated the tree alone, left with poignant memories of when our children were young. The cat kept me company for a while, but even she lost interest, despite the shiny, dangly ornaments hung low for the taking. She will make me pay later, I’m sure.

I opened the boxes of ornaments with care. Not only were they filled with treasured glass ornaments, but even more-so-treasured paper ornaments. Paper reindeer, angels, santas and candy canes with grade school photos covered in foam, pipe cleaners, felt and sequins and painted impressions of their handprints, making me miss my little ones.

My boys are now 24, 21 and 16, so gone are the days of bickering “he looked at me” or “he took my toy” but also gone are the days of fingerprints, snot kisses and toddlers asleep in my arms. No more wrapping-paper-strewn living rooms since they now neatly throw it away. No more hiding all the presents in the secret compartment under the youngest’s bed, no more race tracks, remote control cars, monster trucks, no more of the eldest hanging large clusters of ornaments on the bottom of the tree or the middle son waking us at 5:00 am to open presents.

I am eager to spend time with them all this Christmas. Yes, I’m glad they’re all grown up, but I wait patiently for all three of them to find the right woman, so they can fill my house with grand babies someday. I look forward to the future of baking cookies, sticky candy cane hands and tree decorating, to bring back the magic and wonder of a child at Christmas.

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