So much to celebrate

Christmas Memories & Traditions

— Brian Cosner, writer

Lying in restless anticipation for hours, enjoying the sounds of singing and the company of my family, having the chance to get away for a while — the Christmas season means a lot of different things to me, and the things that make me look forward to this time have always changed over the years.

Like basically every other kid in America, I lived for the gifts when I was little. I remember my parents trying to get me to stay in bed on Christmas Eve was like pulling teeth. I so very desperately wanted to know if I was going to get the Power Wheels truck that I wanted for what seemed like forever. It made sleep impossible.

I never did get one of those battery-powered vehicles that my friends used to run over their little sisters. But over the years I got Matchbox cars, model rockets, roller blades and enough LEGO sets to recreate a fully functional Golden Gate Bridge. So I couldn’t complain.

But when I was 9 or 10, I remember a shift in what I started looking forward to. My seven brothers and sisters and I used to draw names to see who we needed to get a gift for. I remembered getting so excited about picking out a gift for somebody else. I remember getting a sparkly, pink Pegasus toy for my younger sister. I remember getting the fastest looking remote-controlled car I had ever seen from Radio Shack for my older brother. I remember the rose quartz angel figurine I saw on a field trip that I got for my mom.

I think I remember more of the gifts I got for other people than gifts I had received. And that made me feel good. But as I got older, it still didn’t feel as good as the time I got to spend with my family. Spending time with all my cousins and getting to hold my newest nieces and nephews, singing carols and eating way too much food — that’s what I started getting excited about in my teenage years.

There are still few things in life that I enjoy more than spending time with my siblings and extended family. But things changed again a few Christmases ago. In 2015, the smartest, kindest, most beautiful person that I know said “yes” when I asked her to spend the rest of her life with me. Knowing an opportunity when I saw one, I realized I needed to lock things down quickly before her better judgment caught up with her, so we got married that winter.

Now I still enjoy getting presents. I still love giving them even more and I love singing carols to the patients at the hospital and I love fellowship with my family. But now every Christmas season I get to be reminded that every year is better than the one before, because it’s another year I got to spend with the love of my life.

Happy Anniversary and Merry Christmas, Kathryn. Here’s to lots more.

Story First Published: 2017-12-22