Christmas Morning Memories

By Sarah McDonald

One of my favorite things about Christmas now is to experience it through my children’s eyes. I know it is cliché, but watching their wonder and joy and excitement fills me with joy and a sense of magic.

As a child, I loved Christmas, but remember as I got older it lost some of its magic (I became the sister in The Polar Express who grew older and couldn’t hear the bell ringing anymore).
I was blessed, though, that my Christmas magic returned even sooner than I could have expected, well before I had my own children.

It was the birth of a Christmas morning tradition with my brothers and sisters.
We are five kids (three girls and two boys) about 10 years apart from oldest to youngest. As we got older, we found that our greatest Christmas joy wasn’t in what we were getting, but in what we were giving to each other!

Christmas gift giving became about how we could make each other happy with our gifts. We secretly shopped for our sisters and brothers thinking about what they truly liked and would appreciate. Then, on Christmas morning, all the gifts under the tree (and there were lots of them) were opened individually. No one just ripped into packages; we savored our time together – focused on each individual person one-by-one as he or she opened gifts.

I love thinking about our Christmas mornings on Cambridge Drive. I remember those mornings when we were grown even more fondly than I remember getting toys from Santa, and I think it is because in our family living room, around our tree, all together, we truly captured the love and giving of oneself for another that Christmas is all about.
I pray that I am able to pass this on to my children one day too because these Christmas morning memories are truly Christmas blessings.

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