Images of Christmas Past

December 21, 2011

Posted By: Shaunescy

Not having small children in the house certainly changes the dynamic of Christmas. The sparkle still exists, holiday decor still shines from nearly every horizontal surface, yet the sense of urgency slows to a manageable clip.

And Santa gifts are "discussed" rather than imagined, listed and mailed.

As I sift through the photos of Christmas past, I always land on one image - a single image of Christmas that takes me back to a magical time. When Santa was center-stage and a visit to him marked the official kick-off of the season.

I find myself watching the Santa moments from a distance now, with a knowing smile, and a tiny heart-ache that those moments are gone. I stand in the background at the mall, and peek in on the crying, the happy, and the unsure as they stare at the white-bearded man with intrigue and wonder.

Will he be the one to deliver my Christmas hopes, they imagine silently?

The image I ponder displays one innocent boy - who is still only a baby - and it always causes a tear or two to fall when I allow my memory to wander back to this magical and wondrous time.

His innocence recognized.

Along with his untold bravery.

And the contemplation of the moment shown only by the way he holds his fingers. And in his hands he holds his beloved childhood toy, which gave him the confidence to finally settle on this strange man's lap.

He wasn't afraid of the over-sized jolly fellow in the bright red suit, but he didn't smile at him either. Instead, his gaze shoots upwards, then sets fixed on the white bearded man. Puzzled. Unsure.

This is my most treasured memory of Christmas past.

And one that always brings a feeling of melancholy, knowing those sweet and innocent days are long, long gone...

{Ignore the crying mother in the corner. She'll be fine after a few good tears, and several chugs of stout, red wine.}

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