This I Believe

Taylor - Briarcliff Manor, New York
Entered on June 1, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: family
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Every Christmas Eve, for as long as I can remember, my brothers and I eagerly await our Christmas Pajamas. As one might think, the fact that we’ve gotten older has not weakened in any way our attachment to Christmas Pajamas but, if anything, it has only made us more demanding. On Christmas Eve, we attend a church service with my grandparents who are enthralled with what the priest rattles off his tongue. However, when I turn to look at my brothers, I can see in their eyes the same desire I feel: the desire to rush home for the Christmas Eve celebration that awaits. After church, we head home for the four course meal our mom has prepared: her traditional salad with raspberry vinaigrette, followed by carrot soup and homemade bread, ham, green beans, and potatoes, and a huge blueberry pie and ice cream for dessert. It never changes, and we love that. However, in between the main course and dessert comes Christmas Pajamas. This has evolved to become more than a tradition, but a rule in my house. One year, our mom tried to make us wait until after dessert, and we were not happy. So, after dinner and before dessert, my brothers and I reach under the tree (which we had lavishly decorated together a week before) and clutch the presents labeled “Christmas Pajamas.” We tear open the paper and dash downstairs to change into our new pajamas. Christmas spirit like this bonds my family together.

A week before Christmas, my brothers come home from college in a frenzy ready for last minute Christmas shopping. My parents rush home every day, furious at the impossible to find laptop or the way too expensive bracelet. My mom dashes around to hang up all of the Christmas decorations to make sure they’re exactly right, the same way they’ve always been. The countdown of the seven days before Christmas has always been a mad dash, and it continues until Christmas Eve. However by Christmas Eve, everything is perfect: the stockings that my mom knitted for us when we were born are hung above the mantel in age order, the little Santa ornament dangles from the lamp in the hall, the bright lights on the deck glisten through the snow, and the perfectly wrapped presents rest beneath the tree. As we get older, and as time passes, many things change, but Christmas always remains the same.