For kids, the last few days before Christmas feel like an eternity.
For adults, it’s time to panic as the holiday comes bearing down on us like a UPS truck loaded with presents.
“Is Christmas here yet?” little C. asked as soon as she woke up the other day. Sorry, not yet.
“My prediction is that this week is going to feel like the slowest on earth,” A. added. “Everyone is so excited.”
It’s funny how our perception of the holiday changes as we get older. We go from carefree anticipation to the weight of responsibility and more than a little dread.
The little ones can’t wait until Christmas morning. Adults are meanwhile doing the calculus to figure out how we’re going to cram last-minute shopping, present wrapping, house cleaning, cooking and all the other stuff into the coming days.
If I squint and look back, I can remember my own long waits for Christmas Eve and Christmas itself. I could hardly stand it. I knew that my grandma hid unwrapped presents under her bed, and even though I tried to be good, I couldn’t resist peeking. I was about 8 years old. I looked and found the box of Legos that would soon be mine. It didn’t ruin the holiday, but just gave me a little fix to help me make it through to the big day.
I watch the kids now and I can tell they feel the same way. When we arrive home in the evening, we often have a box or two from Amazon waiting. Each contains a Christmas present. I can tell it takes all of their self control to keep from tearing open the boxes right on the spot.
Just a little while longer, I tell them. Soon they’ll get their holiday goodies, and I can breathe a sigh of relief.