Monday, December 31, 2007

39 Months

Christmas was wonderful this year! I say that with enthusiasm because I'm not really the most ardent supporter of the festive holidays these days, but events unfolded very pleasantly this year. Both Xtina and I are hesitant to embrace social programming of the sort that bombards our senses to the extent that we feel obligated to participate. We're much more interested in sharing genuine experiences that unfold naturally and humanely, not preordained to benefit us in a specific manner. Christmas is always the number one culprit when it comes to making us feel that our experiences are less than sincere when it comes to capitalistic cheer. It's hard for us to get into the holiday spirit when the foundation of our social experience revolves around spending a shitload of money on a bunch of crap.

(Yes, we did receive some items that would fit into that category)

What I recall of the christmas wonder is hectic nights chasing the shouts from our lips as my cousins and I raced around the house trying to embody that emblazoned joyful spirit that winked wholeheartedly at the stars, embracing all the new things I learned throughout the year with the beautiful realization that I was growing and becoming and developing and living for another wondrous cycle, feeling the warmth of familial laps and shining eyes that regarded me with love and arms and soft cheeks and beautifully familiar aromas and succulent meals and warmth and warmth and warmth, hoping that the future would be as amazing as everyone believed in their hearts for this one moment in time regardless what was truly happening outside the dark windows around us.

When people ask me what I remember about the holidays, I never think about the gifts. Sure I can see my self tearing at wrapping paper like a banshee with the scream of need howling out all other sounds, but I honestly can't think of more than two or three presents that actually stayed with me for longer than a few days. I don't have one of those gifts with me today, they are all spent.

It's so hard to think about this time of year and try to bring some perspective to my relationship with my son. Lucas is so attuned to everything around him now that the idea of explaining the spirit of christmas seemed like such an incredible task, and I still don't have an ultimate solution to this dilemma. But Lucas has such a beautiful soul that he lifts my spirit even when the doldrums of the holidays creep into our mundane comfortable lives.

Just a couple of images from this holiday season have really stuck with me:

When we opened presents, Lucas didn't tear at his wrapping like a madman. He chose who should open a gift and watched patiently while that person indulged in their fortune. We took our time with this ritual of exchange because we have a lifetime to share with one another, there is no limit to what we can give. Then after everything had been opened, Lucas dove into the giant pile of wrapping paper and swam beneath the depths like an aquatic being, his real presents sitting untouched on a nearby table.

On christmas eve we went shopping for a gift that Lucas would receive from santa at the pavco christmas celebration. Santa is a holiday concept that we fretted over. How to explain santa to him without lying or diminishing the magical aspect of it or creating false hope? We wanted to be honest with him but we also wanted him to fully share in beautiful spirit behind the metaphor of santa, to embrace and cherish the people around you. So we decided that we should let Lucas choose his santa gift himself. But another obstacle ahead of us was that he was actually a little bit afraid of the jolly old man (who isn't at first?). So in order to help him become comfortable with it Xtina suggested that daddy should be santa this year. Lucas' reluctance to jumping on santa's lap vanished once she made this suggestion. So how could I say no. I dressed up in the red suit and handed out gifts to all the little ones. Lucas even gave santa a kiss when it was all over.

Which brings me to the last wonderful vision of this holiday season. Tonight, after sharing a wonderful meal and hanging out with Xtina's family, Lucas decided that he was going to hand out gifts to everyone. He took our napkins and wrapped up miscellaneous items from around the room and went around to give everyone their presents. He told them that he was santa and that he was bringing them gifts for the holiday season.

Oh, the beauty of our child! His heart is so full that at three-years-old he already knows the real meaning of santa and christmas. If only the rest of our society did as well.

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