This week, my son and I finally got around to putting up the Christmas tree. Actually, he did most of the work while I supervised. After all, he is sixteen and one day he will have his own house to decorate, so it's good practice for him. Oh, alright! I was being lazy and really not feeling very Christmas-y.
While he was digging around in a box of decorations, he found our copy of an old Christmas story, "The Year Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas". It was given to us by my mother-in-law when Jimmy was a baby. It had been years since we had read it together and he did not remember it. I asked him if he would like me to read it to him.
With an eagerness that recalled a much younger version of himself, he climbed into my lap and waited for me to begin reading. Yes, in my lap. All 6'3" and 170 pounds of him! And so the two of us sat together in my chair, our faces lit by the glow of Christmas lights, and I began to read. As I read the familiar story, I was reminded of past Christmases when he was small.
Nearing the end of the story, I felt tears well up in my eyes, and I had to stop and clear my throat several times before I could finish. It wasn't the story that caused my emotion. It was the closeness that we shared, like when he was little. It was knowing that moments like this one are getting fewer and fewer every year as my little boy grows into a man. It was knowing that, one day, he might read this same story to his own child. But most of all, it was remembering that this is what Christmas is all about.
I think that now I'm starting to feel Christmas-y after all. Merry Christmas everyone!