Christmas Cards

As the year coasts to a stop, I am happy to find some ‘alone time’ early on a Sunday morning. I have some fresh coffee, a delightful fire roaring and Sophie is snoozing next to me.

This will be the first time in my adult life that we did not send out, en masse, Christmas cards with either a picture and/or family letter…no one to blame other than a hectic schedule and maybe Facebook.

Christmas is less than a week away and I have yet to venture out to one single retail location. I am proud to say that I should have four large boxes awaiting me at my business address full of goodies via the wonderful Internet.

Nonetheless, I still feel compelled to share with everyone the one thing I have put at the end of every family letter since I have had my own family. In spite of the fact that Thanksgiving gets ‘robbed’ each year with the Halloween displays being replaced by Christmas ones the first day of November, Christmas still holds some magic for me and I attribute it all to the following:

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And that’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.” – Linus Van Pelt.

Merry Christmas everyone!

T’was The Night Before The Night Before Christmas

Even at my age, this is an exciting time and I don’t care what the astronomers and meteorologists say, tomorrow is the longest day of the year.

This summer, Anna and Katie learned the lowdown on Santa. After ‘true confessions’, the result of a poorly hidden ‘Santa Apparatus’ (Long story) the truth came out in an impromptu family meeting.

Anna admitted she doubted the logistics of the entire trip around the world/all those toys in one bag scenario but kept her poker face ‘just in case.’

Katie found out while neck deep in her belief. It was not pretty…much like yanking a Band-Aid off of a skinned knee, fast and painful.

With that sense of wonderment gone, things seem just a little off kilter this year. No letters to Santa, no preparing of Christmas Eve snacks, no tracking his lift-off from the North Pole and most of all, no one to ‘impress’.

We have had a pretty good year business-wise, not at good as last year but it could have been a whole lot worse. We know we have been immensely blessed and in spite of the newfound awareness here in the Darnell household, it is still going to be a great Christmas.

Tomorrow will be fun.

Regardless of our new Santa status, the anticipation of what Christmas day will bring will not change much. The girls will be little bundles of energy, knowing that somewhere under this roof are the presents and surprises to be delivered by a surrogate Saint Nick in less than 24 hours.

There will be much to do. My ‘Santa’, the UPS guy, made a key delivery this afternoon so, for the first time in a while, I will not be making any 11th hour dashes to the store as is my typical routine. Well, maybe one small, short trip.

Fortunately, this year there is nothing to assemble. Everything will be wrapped and ready to slide under the tree after visions of sugar plums are dancing down the hall.

While I am counting on that bedtime fatigue to kick in at the same time it does on school nights; that remains to be seen. I am pretty confident that anticipation will prevail at least an hour or two beyond our typical ‘lights out’ hour, which is expected.

The girls will be full of joy, anticipation, expectancy and hope. I will feed off of that knowing we are just hours away from magic and one of the most important roles I have as a father will soon be completed for another year.

Yes, tomorrow will be the longest day of the year, not just for our gals but for me as well.
Even at my age, this is an exciting time of the year!