"What was your favorite Christmas gift when you were little?"

He's asking me all sorts of questions these days; my favorite movie, what ice cream I like, what I liked to study–and what I hated studying–when I was in school. He's a thoughtful boy, my middle guy; so tender, so amiable, so interested in what makes others tick.

He was hanging ornaments on the tree and I was contemplating the mantle when he asked me, and I had to stop and think for a minute. It didn't bother me a bit that I couldn't remember a stand-out Christmas gift; I remember getting socks and underwear, pajamas, clothes for school. One year it was a suitcase, which was very cool. I'm sure there were necklaces and earrings and smelly lotions and all sorts of other things; we never really wanted for anything at Christmas or any other time. The fact that I don't remember the gifts in detail says little about the gifts or the givers and more about me; I'm happier when I'm giving, self-conscious when I'm receiving and perfectly content to spend my time watching those I love open whatever it is I've picked for them.


When I said 'I don't really remember, sweetie. We did a lot of practical gift-giving for Christmas,' he came over and hugged me. No words, no anything but his pure sweetness as he pulled me close and patted my back.  

We sat down, cuddled up in our purple chair, and I told him that while I love the excitement of Christmas, sometimes I get sad because we focus so much on what we get instead of what we give, and that giving expensive gifts isn't really what the season is all about. He shot me a look and I reassured him that my thinking out loud didn't mean there wouldn't be boxes to unwrap this year, but that I was hoping that we find other ways to create memories this month that have nothing to do with a trip to the store or a delivery from the man in brown shorts.

I hadn't read today's #Reverb12 prompt–How Will You Celebrate YOU?–until after the conversation with Nicholas. And once I read it, I went searching for a different prompt; because this season is not about celebrating ME, it's about celebrating family and faith and togetherness.

Still, it's a seductive thought, to celebrate myself. To celebrate being a mom, a friend, a sister and a daughter; to spend time doing what brings me peace and with those who bring me joy. To me that means celebrating  what I used to love about the season, before I grew up and became responsible for the season. I want to wrap myself in a blanket and sip hot cocoa while I alternate gazing at twinkling lights and twinkling stars. I want to witness the spirit of Santa, catch snowflakes on my tongue, savor the sweetness of home-baked cookies and let the imperfect music from carolers seep into my bones.   I want to stop, breathe it all in and let it linger far longer than a few short days.

 Thanks to Kat for the prompt and for bringing life to #Reverb again this year. My plan is to alternate prompts between Kat's and Diana's over at Righteous Bacon (because with a blog name like that she has to be made of pure awesome, right?).