My mother tells the story of a Christmas morning where the seven of us (Grandfather, Grandmother, Uncle, Father, Mother, Brother, and Myself) had all gathered at Mama and Papa’s for holiday festivities. Randon, my older brother who was four at the time, and my two-year old self were in awe of the mound of presents. They were each perfectly placed under and around the tree like something out of a Martha Stewart Christmas edition magazine cover, just as Grandma’s tree looked every year. Wide eyed we moved towards the mountain of wrapping paper, ribbon, and bows. At first we tore into the gifts, opening as fast as our toddler arms would allow, but as we started to get toys out we wanted to stop and play with them. Every toy we opened was another nugget of gold and we wanted to spend time with each nugget. We had only gotten through 8 presents when our little hands got tired, are limbs went limp, and those wide eyes had turned droopy from the sheer electricity that had left our bodies, we still loved every gift but we were ready to play. It didn’t matter how many presents we still had to get through, we wanted to enjoy the ones we had now.
Now, certainly, Christmas isn’t all about the presents and about spoiling your kids. However, I like to look at this story as a reason to be thankful for family and soaking up moments with loved ones. Our toddler brains hadn’t gone into the gifting ceremony thinking that we would want to delight in each gift, but once we realized how awesome they were we were ready to put all other unopened gifts on hold.
There are a lot of parties, tasks, and lists to check off this season, but in all of the hustle and bustle don’t move so fast that you forget to stop and enjoy each moment. I think our adult brains do the opposite of what my brain did at 2. We go into the holidays thinking we will enjoy each second but once we start going we get overwhelmed and miss out on really awesome things. Don’t run yourself ragged moving from one thing to the next without enjoying each thing as it comes. Be a toddler again and soak up each nugget of gold.