The Spirit of the Holidays

I don’t know about you but I was a very lucky kid growing up, for multiple reasons but one being that my dad is Santa.

My dad loves all holidays and to see the joy it brings on kids faces, especially his own kid – me. I grew up in the house that turned into a haunted graveyard on Halloween, St. Patrick’s day was a thing in our home before it was about the shortest mini skirt I can find in the colour green and the appreciation of a good Guinness – even if my mom likes to remind us we are only one drop Irish. Easter was a full morning scavenger hunt, including a homemade two foot rice crispy bunny, but nothing was as special as Christmas.

The house would me meticulously decorated by my mom and Christmas movies would start playing throughout December. Since part of my childhood was in Germany, Christmas Eve was as important as Christmas Day, and both had their own traditions and gluttony. We would of course have to leave out the cookies, the carrots and class of eggnog; Santa always seemed to prefer healthy snacks the years dad was trying to watch his waistline – coincidence, you be the judge. My dad would be the first to wake up on Christmas morning and patiently wait until about 8am, at that point his excitement got too much and he would come into my room moaning that I must be the only kid that sleeps-in on Christmas morning – I LOVE my sleep. I don’t know who was more heartbroken the year that I finally had to face facts that perhaps the big jolly red man might be more of a spirit within each of us, rather than a magic elf.

Once I moved out, that spirit of Christmas and those traditions seemed to slowly fade away, most years I couldn’t even be bothered to put up any decorations since they would just have be taken down. I was no Grinch and did enjoy the food and meeting up with friends throughout the week, but Christmas Eve and Christmas Day passed by with no celebration. I loved the fact that I could full on introvert on these days, since most things were closed and people were busy – they would invite me over but I much preferred staying in my pjs all day, watching horror movies and eating copious amount of doritos.

They do say you turn into your parents at some point and celebrating Cillian’s first Christmas I can see that I got more than just my dad’s lips. I couldn’t really sleep the night before out of excitement, which means I must be very excited if I am willing to sacrifice sleep. We decorated the house on December 1 so that our almost 6 months old son would feel it was Christmasy and Christmas movies not horror movies started playing throughout the month. We FaceTimed family in Ireland on Christmas Eve so we could join them virtually in their festivities. My partner insisted on doing a full Christmas dinner for the three us, even if one of us only contributed by eating a sliver of turkey. Christmas Day was spent watching Cillian attempt to open his presents and more virtual family time, we took family pictures, with bedhead, no makeup and pjs on – something I would complain non-stop about when my dad requested it years ago.

Now that the season has come and gone I look forward to all the upcoming holidays, creating our own traditions and including ones from our childhood. A friend of mine said it best when she said “children are the magic of Christmas”.

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