Thirty years ago, in the early morning hours, I woke to a small face an inch from my own with a whispered, “Mommy, are you awake?”
The dog jumps up on the bed and places his face alongside this small person and my face is filled with toddler breath and dog breath. I smile.
Glancing at the clock on the nightstand, I see that it is 5:30 a.m. on Christmas morning. The perfect reason for the up close and personal wake-up! With a hug for both the toddler and the dog, I untangle myself from the blankets, climb out of bed and grab my robe.
Glancing back toward the bed, the toddler and dog sit side by side, eagerly awaiting permission to go into the living room to see if Santa has come.
I make my way down the hall and into the living room. With excitement in my voice, I call for my daughter to come and see what Santa had done.
I hear my daughter and the dog’s patter of feet come down the hall. My daughter’s small face peeks around the corner, eyes wide with wonder and her mouth forming a perfect “oh”. A moment later, the dog’s head peers around the corner. Two precious faces noticing that Santa had indeed made a visit.
In that moment, I wished time could stand still. I wanted that precious moment ingrained in my memory so that I could bring it out in the years ahead.
As happens, the years have passed by so quickly. My daughter is now in her 30’s and living her own life, and that precious dog has long since crossed the rainbow bridge. Christmas mornings are a far cry from how they used to be.
To me, those moments caught in time are a part of what the Christmas spirit is about; hope and love and wonder. To watch your child gaze in awe and wonder at the Christmas tree. Their excitement when they notice the filled stockings and gifts under the tree. You want that feeling to always be with them.
I know not all look forward to the holiday season. I know there are those who may not have wonderful memories of Christmas’ past.
Many carry hurt, depression, loneliness, anxiety or loss. Those souls that dread the festive season. Those who may have lost hope.
Let’s do our part to share hope this holiday season and into the New Year. Take time to phone someone who is alone. Stop by a neighbour’s house with a card or small gift. Mail Christmas cards so that someone receives a holiday greeting in their mailbox.
It is the small personal gestures that could mean the most to someone who feels alone or lost during the holiday season. Let’s make sure people know that the world is a better place with them in it. Let’s spread a message of hope and wish everyone a holiday filled with child-like wonder.