“An-tic-i-pa-tion…..”

“…is making me late, is keeping me waiting.”

Carly Simon had it just about right. In our house we don’t always wait until Christmas eve to put presents under the tree, and it’s a small, sweet torture for my kids to wait for Christmas morning.  Every time something gets wrapped and makes it’s way under the tree, there is someone peering and guessing.  If I try to slip a package in, they do notice.  My youngest offers to “re-arrange” the presents or “straighten them up”.  The two older ones try to act like they aren’t that interested, but still speculate in private. Of course, we try to use a bit of smoke and mirrors, putting things in unlikely boxes or holding back the bigger presents, just to mess with their heads.  It’s all to create a bit of excitement and expectation, and just makes the season a little more fun for us grownups.

Anticipation can sharpen the senses and make fulfillment even more sweet.  It was wonderful to watch when the girls were younger and their belief in Santa almost overtook breathing.  Just the thought that he was coming would make them shiver. Except possibly for the year that Santa had to leave his presents on the front porch — my oldest daughter was just small and didn’t like the thought of a strange man in our house.  That year he brought more anxiety than expectation.

Feeling like dissonance, anticipation vibrates below our daily routine.  It gives us something to look forward to, something to wish for, something to contemplate, the sense that something good is just around the corner.  When the dissonance is resolved it’s a relief, though the loss of something to look forward to sometimes gives me the seasonal blues. Until then, I delight in the pleasant current running through the house and my own anticipation of watching my daughters hopes fulfilled on Christmas morning.

“These are…… the good old days.” Agreed, Carly.

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Filed under Day to Day, Looking Ahead, Parenting, Traditions

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