Day 21 | Advent Calendar
The Joy of Together by Deborah Bryan
Late last Christmas Eve, I stood smiling in a Southern California drugstore parking lot. For a moment, I lifted my face toward the palm trees and stars twinkling in the clear sky above me.
I climbed into my car and drove home to wrap my drugstore presents for my little boys. I kept smiling the whole drive home.
As a little girl in Oregon, my Christmases were hardly balmy. All the same, I felt my childhood and my mom–almost seven years gone from this physical world now–in that moment spent staring skyward.
As the eldest of four children in a single-parent household, I was often my mom’s partner in present-wrapping. She’d awaken me to help wrap presents mere hours before my siblings would unwrap them.
I got to spend those last-minute moments wrapping gifts and basking in a special kind of warmth: togetherness with my mom.
Last-minute purchases wrapped at the last minute didn’t make for less enjoyable Christmases for me. If anything, these things made them brighter.
When my siblings awakened shrieking with glee, I cherished knowing I’d played a bit part in that.
The joy of Christmas wasn’t in perfect, perfectly wrapped presents, but in each other.
As a little girl, I dreamed I’d be many exciting things when I grew up. While I’ve become none of those things in the first 38 years of my life, I’m delighted by what I have become: a dreamer, a doer, and mother to two exuberant little boys.