A Middle-Aged Christmas Morning

A Middle-Aged Christmas Morning

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This year I am the first one up on Christmas morning.  I am usually the first one up here every other day of the year so it is not unfamiliar to me.  There was a time not long ago when I would have been dragged from my slumber by wild-haired, crazy-eyed children but things have changed.  Now there are teenagers asleep upstairs that may make it down by lunchtime to join me for another fun filled holiday.  This change happened very quickly and to be quite honest, I wasn’t ready for it.  So here I sit alone waiting for someone to open presents with.

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It looks to me that Santa has dropped by again while I slept.  He didn’t bring as much as he used to but that’s okay.  I remember in times past that it looked like he was probably up half the night, with elf assistance, putting together toys that apparently had no instructions with them.  How aggravating that must have seemed to Saint Nick at that time.  I bet that had he known how quickly the nature of gift giving would change at the Darden’s home that he would have cherished those late night toy assemblies a little more.

I hope that Santa brought everything that the kids asked for this year.  I’ve seen some years where I thought that he didn’t come through only to find that he had simply hid the toys somewhere else to be discovered mid-morning.  That Santa sure is a prankster.  He has always been good to us here.  I have always considered him to be a very brave man to fly through these hills with all of that venison leading the way.  I think that he has made it safely through the years because he flies so fast and most deer hunters can’t make that kind of shot with a rifle.  I know it is also illegal to spotlight deer but somehow I don’t think that is what has saved him.  Whatever has kept him from being shot down, I just hope that he knows his bravery has not gone unnoticed here at my home.

Daylight has broke here this morning.  I’m sure it is cold outside so there is no reason to open the door and find out.  There is no snow this year.  That is fine with me.  I am more of a Cousin Eddie standing in the yard, emptying his RV toilet than a Bing Crosby singing “White Christmas” kind of guy anyway.  Later I may pull out the old Christmas Story DVD and watch Ralphie petition for another Red Rider BB Gun again.  The sad thing is that this year it looks like I will watch it by myself because everyone else is going to sleep Christmas away.  I guess that’s just how things go with the passing of time.

I have never really been a Christmas person.  I think we start the season way to soon.  This morning I feel a little nostalgic about this day though.  It hurts a little down inside to know that a little bit of the magic has left my home.  I guess it happens to everyone but, like a lot of the changes that come with time, I didn’t know it would happen to me.  Perhaps today my family will sit down at the table and discuss the wonder of Christmas and what this day means to each one of us.  That would be nice.  I suspect, though, that we will probably just watch Elf one more time while we browse Facebook on our cellphones.  However it goes I hope they know that I love them.  I also hope that you have the best day ever with your family.  Merry Christmas from the hills!

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4 Replies to “A Middle-Aged Christmas Morning”

  1. Merry Christmas my friend, this was a very good read this Christmas morn. Hope you and your family have a blessed day.

  2. You got the middle age Christmas right. Been there and done that. Wait and see what old age Christmas is like. It is indescribable. The little ones are now retired and scattered to the four winds and you are lucky if you even get to see the grandchildren or great grandchildren. Old age Christmas is much more of a time of reminiscing than middle age Christmas. The real blessing is that one is still alive.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and all your loved ones. Keep up the blogging!!!

  3. It is the moments shared that matter. You understand that life changes us all…it changes our children as they mature sometimes in ways unwished. But as I look at the bearded man that was my child, and know that next year he will be living four hours away, I draw a breath, blink unwilling to fully accept what is. But life moves us in ways unexpected. Yet when it comes to Christmas…when it comes to what the day means…I reach back and grasp at the truth of the day…the real truth. Then I appreciate the magnificence of the day no matter what form it takes. And come to appreciate the fine man my son has become…

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