When I was younger, I had trouble sleeping on Christmas Eve.  I would lay in bed thinking about all the presents I would be getting, wondering which of the toys and other things I asked for would actually be waiting under the tree for me the next morning.  The anticipation would keep my mind wound up too much to allow it to slip into unconsciousness.

As I grew older, the problem faded.  As I got older, the magic of all those presents began to wear off — to the point where as an adult, my first thought when family members ask for gift suggestions is occasionally, “great, more crap I don’t really need and don’t have a place to put anyway.”  This is good, as I’m not sure that I could handle the sleep deprivation now as well as I did back when I could still count my age using only my hands.

I admit, though, that the anticipation of giving has also grown since then.  There’s something special about knowing that when someone opens that almost perfect gift[1] their expression and reaction may actually light up the room.  It’s an anticipation that doesn’t keep me awake half of Christmas Eve,[2] but it’s something that gives me that extra thrill and desire to go on.

I also think there’s something to be said for anticipating the joy of another person, as it takes us outside of ourselves for that moment and makes us more other-focused.  Sharing in the joys of others adds to both our joy and theirs, and it makes life that much better.

What joys do you share?  What things do you anticipate, both during this season and throughout the world?  Have you ever had that moment where you’re looking forward to something so much that you can’t sleep?  Can’t concentrate on your job?  (Don’t worry, I won’t tell your supervisor.)

[1]  This reminds me, I need to answer my own question on a recent open thread.

[2]  In fairness, this is at least in part due to the fact that I’m not (quite) as hyper or excitable as I was in my youth.

Leave a Reply