What is it about the holidays that gets us all so sentimental? Are those early Christmas memories imprinted on our DNA? Does wonder, joy and excitement become part of our cellular structure, providing that we've had wonder, joy and excitement in our lives during the holiday season?
Getting nearly apoplectic with excitement when you see the first snow? Opening the gift that you thought only Santa knew of? Watching a parent/friend/partner/spouse/child open the perfect present. And by perfect present I don't mean expensive - I don't mean put yourself into hock to get your honey a diamond encrusted watch.
The best Christmas present that I ever received was a calendar. We had just moved to a smaller town from Toronto. Rissa was only about 2 1/2 years old. David handed me this thin, poorly wrapped gift - I could tell from its dimensions that it was a calendar.
"Open it up," he said.
He had booked babysitters once a week for three months. Friends, relatives, local teenagers - all booked from January to the end of March - 12 dates. He'd arranged babysitting for 12 dates. He didn't just know what I wanted, he knew what I needed. I needed to get out. I needed not to be the one to plan things. I needed to remember what it was like to be a person and not just a parent before I lost my mind.
He knew. He still does.
Best present ever.
ps. if you're not quite in the holidays spirit - YouTube the rest of John Lewis's Christmas commercials - if they don't bring tears to your eyes you don't have a soul.