I have a ten mile run Christmas morning. I’m very excited about it. I’m more excited about that then opening the gifts beneath the tree (I know what they all are anyway). I’m getting up at 5:00 a.m. to go run. It doesn’t matter how cold it is or how much snow is on the ground. I’ll be out there putting one foot in front of another.
Everyone leaves their Christmas lights on throughout the night of Christmas Eve and into Christmas morning. The red, green, blue, yellow, and white light catches in the snow, like jewels scattered on the ground. Christmas trees stand in the front windows of every house.
The streets are empty of all cars. The stores are all closed and the parking lots are empty. A hush falls over the world Christmas morning, especially if there was snow during the night (that’s a special gift).
Each branch of the trees will be lined with snow. A downy white blanket covers every yard without any footprints and no tire marks in the street. Falling snowflakes catch in my eyelashes. Snow crunches beneath my feet. The cold air makes my cheeks and lips go little numb and rosy.
Around six, the magic starts to happen, the lights come on inside the houses. The children begin to wake. They slide out of their beds, and shove their little feet into slippers. Scampering down the hall to their siblings rooms they whisper into the dark, “It’s time to get up. It’s Christmas.”
They dance around the tree bouncing and laughing. Santa Clause has come leaving presents wrapped in paper covered with their favorite Christmas characters. They carefully peer among the gifts, trying to find out which one belongs to them.
Then it’s back down the hall to wake up mom and dad. The wrapping paper flies throw the air and flutters to the ground. Cries of glee, hugs, and “I love you.”
I catch glimpses of this as I run. I smile. The true gift of Christmas, is seeing the joy and wonder on another person’s face, young or old.
Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!