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Season of Wonder

I LOVE the Christmas season for so many reasons–family, lights, food, giving–but most of all, I love it for the wonder and joy I see in my children’s eyes this time of year.  Though my son recently confessed that he “hates” Christmas time, most specifically Christmas Eve.

Hate?” I asked him in mild alarm.  “That’s a very strong word for a time of year I thought you loved.”

“Well, I do love the presents…” he hemmed.

“And time with family and friends,” I added for him.

He nodded.  “But I can’t stand the waiting!  Especially Christmas Eve.  It’s so hard.”

I smiled, relieved there wasn’t anything more sinister at play.  I placed a hand on his shoulder and said, “I know, honey.  It’s hard for all of us to wait.  But think of the opportunity.  It provides a great lesson in impulse control.”

“What?”  He gaped at me in disbelief.

Instantly I wondered if perhaps this wasn’t the best time for engaging him in instruction on the finer points of growing up.  After all, he’s only in third grade.  Maybe I should just give him a pass on this one.  “Well, would you rather Santa not come?  Would that make it easier for you?”

“No!” he exclaimed immediately, as though I’d lost my mind.

“Well, then.  We have no choice.  We just have to wait.  But we can keep ourselves busy so we don’t notice the time so much.”

He peered at me.  “What do you mean?”

Now I had his attention.  “We can do fun things, like drive around and look at the lights, bake cookies for the neighbors, go see a movie.”  His gaze narrowed.  “Or…you could go next door for a playover.”

He brightened.  “Can I right now?”

Hm.  Almost dinner time but there was about half hour of light left.  “Sure.  But don’t forget your please and thank yous,” I called after him as he high-tailed it out of the house.

Staring after him with a sigh, how well I remembered the days spent counting the hours until Christmas.  Back then I couldn’t believe how slow a day could move, but now?  I can’t believe how fast they pass!  One minute I’m putting the Thanksgiving turkey in the oven and the next I’m realizing Christmas is in a week and I haven’t even begun my shopping!  Egads–how did this happen?  It’s Mistletoe Madness!

When I was young, I used to wake up early in the morning for a sneak peek at the tree.  Crouched by the corner, so as not to be spotted by Santa (in case he hadn’t made it yet) or my mother, I would gaze at the gifts piled high and wide (I come from a family of four children).  It was an incredible sight and one I couldn’t wait to dig through! Then suddenly my little brother would appear by my side and we’d exchange a look of delight, hardly able to contain our excitement.  “Should we wake up Mom, yet?”

Not at five a.m.–not unless your life depended on it!  She was barely functional by seven, let alone five.  And now as a parent, I understand.  Wrapping gifts is a daunting task and can reach well into the early morning hours of Christmas.  Each year I think, this is crazy.  Next year we’re going to go smaller, less stuff and more meaning.  Christmas isn’t about the gifts, it’s about the spirit of Jesus!

But then I think about what that means.  Jesus was a messenger, a gift from God.  We talk about him and his lessons all year long.  Would he really want me to take away the wonderous joy and thrill my kids experience at Christmas?  The sheer delight and thrill they savor and look forward to every year?  We have enough challenges as it is and when they get older, they’ll assume the burden of this responsibility.  Why ruin this special time in their lives?

Soon enough they’ll realize how fleeting time is and how difficult life can be.  And they’re learning the value in giving by using their allowance to buy toys or one of these board games for the kids that don’t have any.  They bake goodies to share with neighbors and friends so as to bring a smile to their face and I believe they understand the spirit of Christmas. 

In fact, one day my son clarified the reason we exchange gifts quite succinctly: “Mom, Christmas is the day Jesus was born and the Wise Men brought him gifts.  Now that he’s gone, God doesn’t want us to forget about him, so Santa brings us gifts to celebrate Jesus’ birthday every year.”  He beamed.  “Just like my birthday!”

Who can argue with that logic?  Certainly not this mother so if you’ll excuse me–I’ve got a birthday to celebrate!

And you have prizes to win.  Simply leave a comment to this post and you’ll be entered to win a copy of my current release, LUST ON THE ROCKS, ebook or paperback (paperback US & Canada only, please) along with some of my custom made seed saving packets, garden tip bookmarks and recipe cards!  Also, don’t miss any of the wonderful authors involved in the Mistletoe Madness Blog Hop.  You can find them all listed here as well as your chance to win the Grand Prize of a new Nook loaded with books!

Good luck and Merry Christmas! :)

40 thoughts on “Season of Wonder

  1. wanda flanagan says:

    Happy Holidays .Thank you for this chance to win

    flanagan@mebtel.net

    1. dv says:

      Thank YOU for stopping by! :)

  2. deanna_boocock says:

    Isn’t it amazing how fast times goes sometimes and then others it just drags and drags and drags. Especially if you haven’t had any coffee!
    deanna_boocock@hotmail.com

  3. Ronda Tutt says:

    Perfect, your son said it very well. It is Jesus birthday – I also think by giving gifts it is like celebrating new life. celebrating happiness, celebrating love, celebrating the message of why Jesus was born.

    thank you for your post and the giveaway, your son is precious to beable to recognize the importance of giving and christmas.

    Ronda Tutt
    mrsqueentutt@yahoo.com

    1. dv says:

      He’s a keeper! :)

  4. lisagk says:

    Thank you for the reminder, it’s hard to believe sometimes if anyone remembers the reason anymore. The stores start dragging out the decorations and stuff before Thanksgiving, and everyone seems to be caught up in the spend, spend, spend cycle. We always say we aren’t doing a big Christmas this year, but still always end up spending more than we said. I know our family needs to take more time to “remember”. lisagk(at)yahoo(dot)com

    1. dv says:

      Absolutely agree with you. Keep it wonderful yes, but keep ourselves grounded, too.

  5. Gareth says:

    My four year old nephew has made me Gingerbread men for Christmas this year. I’m really looking forward to them as he remembered how much I admired them when he made a batch with his Gran (my Mum) earlier this year.

    Thats the spirit right there, its thoughtfullness and the chance to make others smile which for me is not a gift for once a year but a gift for all year round. Just a shame people don’t think that way as much as they should.

    1. dv says:

      Definitely wish this spirit would last longer… Merry Christmas!

  6. Cristina says:

    Awesome post! You brought back memories of me and my brother deciding to sleep under the tree one year. We waited until we thought everyone was asleep. Then we crept under the tree, (as close as we could get without knocking it down). In the morning were we surprised to wake up in our own beds. For the longest we thought Santa magically put us back to bed. As a parent I can only imagine my dad’s grumbling about carrying us to bed without waking us. Good stuff. Your visit with Alaskan Book Cafe is scheduled for the 19th. Thank you so much for coming by my blog! A very Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    1. dv says:

      Dads are great, aren’t they? :) And I’ll definitely continue to visit your blog! Merry Christmas and stay warm!

  7. JeanP says:

    Loved reading your post. Brought back happy memories.
    Merry Christmas.

    skpetal at hotmail dot com

    1. dv says:

      Christmas is a special time of year… :)

  8. desiree says:

    thank for the giveway and then the goodies love the page
    desi the blonde @ msn.com

  9. books4me says:

    My brother and I would be up at the crack of dawn also but we were NOT allowed to go into the living room. We just laid in our bunk bed, and talked excitedly till my mom came to get us around 7am.

    My hubby and I are blessed with a late sleeper…would you believe we still have to wake HER up on Christmas morning??!

    books4me67 at ymail dot com

    1. dv says:

      WOW. Now a late sleeper I could use on Christmas morning! lol

  10. Kathryn Merkel says:

    Love your sons take on why there are presents at Christmas. You should be able to use that logic to explain why it is even more fun to give the gifts than it is to receive them. lol.

    drainbamaged.gyzmo at gmail.com

    1. dv says:

      You bet! Though this year he was a bit more “fussy” on how much of his allowance he wanted to spend on a gift to donate this year, so I gently reminded him “what comes around, goes around.” He stepped it up. :)

  11. KimberlyFDR says:

    Happy holidays and thanks for the opportunity!

    1. dv says:

      You bet and thanks for stopping by!

  12. Anne says:

    Thanks for participating in the hop.

    acm05atjuno.com

  13. Gena Robertson says:

    Your boy is one smart cookie! I love children – they always seem to get the point in most simplistic way, without all the garbage we adults seem to get cluttered up with *sigh*.

    Thank you so much for the wonderful giveaway! And for participating in the hop!

    Happy Holidays to you and yours!

    1. dv says:

      You gotta love kids at Christmas time! Thanks for stopping by and *good luck*!

  14. Helen says:

    I love the Christmas season. Thank you so much for your story and the giveaway.

    1. dv says:

      Merry Christmas! :)

  15. Linda Henderson says:

    Thank you for the excellent giveaway. I hope you have a joyous and safe holiday season. I love to garden, I just can’t do it anymore because I have severe RA and can’t get on my knees to dig in the soil. I told my daughter I wanted to plant some mint plants outside my room at her house. I love the smell of mint when the wind blows.

    seriousreader at live dot com

    1. dv says:

      Not only does mint smell great, it’s a natural ant repellent! Enjoy!

  16. June M. says:

    Thank you for the giveaway. I hope you have a safe & terrific holiday.
    June M
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

    1. dv says:

      Thank YOU and Merry Christmas!

  17. Monica says:

    The story about your son was just so sweet!
    Count me in the contest.
    mcv111@hotmail.com

    1. dv says:

      You’re IN! Good luck! :)

  18. Jessica says:

    Thank you for doing this! This is so sweet of you! I just finished reading Jennifer’s Garden and loved it! I read it in a day! I would love to win your newest book. It sounds amazing!

    1. dv says:

      Thanks for the kind words! :)

  19. Adrianna says:

    Enjoyed the post. :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!!

    Happy Holidays!!

    Adri
    adri_love@sbcglobal.net

    1. dv says:

      Merry Christmas and good luck!

  20. Shadow says:

    lol i hated christmas to because of the wait. it took forever for santa to come. ;) thank you for sharing and for the wonderful giveaway! happy holidays!
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. dv says:

      My son lies on the floor and continually pokes at his gift from us in an effort to guess what it is (as well as distract himself from the time passing like sludge). Merry Christmas!

  21. Kim S. says:

    Cute post! Gave me memories of my past and thoughts of when my two were younger. Thanks for that!

    Happy Holidays to all!!

    thewildtwo {@} sbcglobal {DOT} net

    1. dv says:

      Merry Christmas!

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