I know that people get all pissed off when Target puts their Holliday stuff out after the back to school is done but I don't mind it. The holidays no matter what you celebrate make me happy. I love that my Jewish friends light the menorah in celebration of Hanukah. I love that my Christian friends get ready for the birth of baby Jesus. It's a joyous time of the year so stop bitching and try actually enjoying them. Not just the gifts and the food but the feeling of the holidays. Dig deep it's there. There is a magic in the season I just know it!
When I was about 7 there was a massive storm in upstate NY, I know shocking. We were up at my Uncle Mike and Aunt Carm's on Christmas Eve and the storm hit bad. They lived about 20 minutes from my house and about 20 minutes from my other cousins so no one was going anywhere. We hadn't planned on a big ole sleep over but we went with it. All my cousins were there, we were stuffed from eating but were having a great time so who cares that we were stranded just meant more time screaming at each other in the loving Italian way we do. Now keep in mind I'm not only the family princess but I'm the baby my cousins are all 10 years older. They didn't care if they got their gifts Christmas morning or a day later but what about Santa??? I was right at the age when my friends were all "there ain't no Santa" crap. And I wondered if it was true! I went to sleep at my Aunties all snuggled in a bed (princesses get beds all the rest took the floor) and thought "if I have gifts in the morning there is a santa!". I didn't tell anyone what I thought I just dreamt of Christmas morning with my cousins and of My Friend Mandy doll.
I woke up very early and the snow was friggin crazy, it went up to the door and I wondered how we would ever get out. Thank god being the good Italians we had plenty of food! Ok back to the morning. I shoved my sister and told her to wake up she looked at me like I was nuts for what, PRESENTS ugh she was dense. But then I thought she's right If Santa was real there'd be gifts cause he would know where I was, if she doesn't care there's no such thing and my gifts are at 332 Orwood Place. I remember how bad I wanted that doll and how sad I was. I woke everyone up and we went downstairs to wake the smelly older boys, my brother included.
Holy Jesus and Happy Shamus!!! There were frigging gifts under that tree, a lot. My name was on some "AMIE", holy holy holy he is real. Santa is real. I opened the presents with everyone, there was paper everywhere, yelling and a fried something smelling so good. Then I opened it.... There she was Mandy! Yes Ann Marie there is a Santa! I called Tracy cause ya always call your BFF. Best Christmas ever, ever. I went back to school and told my stupid friends they were wrong Santa is real and he hooked me up. They agreed Santa was totally awesome and real.
When I think of that Christmas I try so hard to think about how my family was reacting to me. I'm crying as I'm typing cause I see Linda nudging Maria. I see Lori smiling and brushing my hair. I can see my brother laughing with Tommy, Chucky and Dave I thought they were making fun of me. I see my Grandma rubbing my dads shoulders and my Uncle Chuck and Uncle Mike nodding their heads. My aunt Madeline's cooking with Aunt Carm nod their whispering and smiling. I see me playing with my Mandy completely oblivious to them but feeling so filled with love, magic and joy, the energy from them.
I tell my kids this story and about how I felt and how awesome it was when they give me the Santa crap because that was all real and Santa is real. I stop the story there though to them. But my daddy and my 2 uncles got in their car and drove 2 hours in a snow storm to Lyncourt then 2 hours back to get the gifts. They are the real Santas but the magic of what they did is what the holidays are about. My mother had been gone for 5 years but between the trial and the aftermath I'm sure the hurt was still raw. They just as much as me need the magic of Christmas. They need the warmth, laughter, love and joy. Isn't that what the holidays are about? Giving others and the feeling it gives you! Isn't it about love and life no matter how difficult your life is.
Maybe this story is exaggerated, maybe it only took an hour but I don't care the magic is there. I have some major tests coming up and a very intense surgery and I keep thinking of this time in my life, when my family needed happiness and joy and how they did just that by making the princess happy. And I am forever grateful, forever. As I shine my tiara for my MRI next week and look for new stilettos for the DIEP (need me some Jimmy Choo's) I will keep this memory in my heart. I know this is the season for magic, joy, and hope and I know that my family will be there to fill my house and life with just that!