For so long, Matt and I went year after year, just the two of us. Christmases came and went, and not much changed during the in-between. Looking back, there was a definite feeling of time standing still, with little to mark its passage. We’ve always had a happy life with lots to be grateful for, but after all those years on our own, we can’t help but feel how much meaning our kids have added to the very concept of time—most especially at Christmas.
First Christmases, letters to Santa, each Christmas morning, and each new tree—we’re building on past memories and making new ones. And time is reflected in their remembering as much as it is in their growth in between. Annie and Emma are both adding to past memories of Christmas now. Their excitement for the season is their own, and yet its something that we all share too.
“Christmas is the day the holds all time together.”
Making memories takes on a whole new meaning when we’re making them with our kids. There is such beauty in passing things on to them because what we’re creating is making something more than just memories: Traditions, home, and family. Something that is completely ours. This year, there are so many little things that I want to remember. We went to Krueger Christmas Tree Farm like we do every year, but this year will be remembered as the first year that we got two trees. Kruegers names all their trees, and our girls have continued all month to call our Christmas trees by their names: Mary Shelly and Steve Fritz. We’ll remember this year as Benjamin’s first Christmas and the first Christmas that the girls hung almost all the ornaments on their own. Like every year, we sing Christmas carols around the tree every night before bed, and this year, Emma picks “Jingle Bells” or “Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer” every single time.
“Time cannot be packaged and ribboned and left under trees for Christmas morning. Time can’t be given. But it can be shared.”
And now part of me does wish that time could stand still—or at least slow down. I wish our Christmas tree would last and last in the present like it will in our pictures and memories. I wish the days would go by more slowly this month, especially Christmas Day, but of course I know better. So I’ll have to slow time by taking time—taking time to read Christmas books, take pictures, and make memories. Because I already know Christmas will be over before I know it, and next year will come quicker than I expect.