Christmas Virtue

As a kid I wished fervently that Christmas Day could last forever, and sometimes it felt like it really did. My parents were quintessential, “patience is a virtue,” parents. With four children to raise I don’t blame them for making this an important part of our vernacular at a young age. The patience practice may have been irksome while waiting for one of my brothers after school or sitting through what felt like my 500th Little League game, but on Christmas Morning that patience became a magic spell, holding the day in place and stretching time as long as possible. 

We kids would wake up with a bustle of excitement and gleams of pirate like eagerness in our eyes. We ran to our stockings to see what Santa had brought then waited, Patience Practice Part One, taking small peaks when we could chance it while Mom and Dad made coffee (an absolutely vital part of Christmas Morning I now understand). The smell of coffee and pine filled the living room perfectly setting the stage for what was to come. Once the parents sat down we could throw open our stockings, littering the floor with tiny treasures. Plenty to enjoy while Patience Practice Part Two took place: Breakfast. 

That’s right, we ate breakfast before opening any more presents, often at the grumbling of one or all three of my brothers, but I loved it. The magic spell of time stretching was working! Breakfast usually consisted of sugary, berry filled crêpes topped with loads of whipped cream. For this I commend my parents greatly. To fill children with that much sugar on a morning where their energy level is already at an all-time high? Very brave indeed. 

Once satisfied with the breakfast of holiday champions it was finally time for the main event, and Patience Practice Part 3. Taking turns, all six of us would open one immaculately wrapped present at a time. To each person opening we gave our full attention, just as excited to watch them enjoy their new prize as we were to open ours. (I’d like to think that’s true anyways, chances are I was thinking about which one to open when my turn came around.) And in this way, Christmas Morning may have lasted a lifetime. I loved celebrating each gift. I loved celebrating the giver of the gift for their creativity and generosity. I loved holding on to this special time as long as possible. 

I realize I have been talking in the past tense but do know that this ultra-patient version of Christmas Morning has held strong to this day. The older I get the more and more grateful I am for un-compromised time with those I love so dearly. In a world that moves at rapid fire speed, I look forward to that clock-stopping magic spell more and more every year. 

This year my patience is being tested on an entirely different level. Unable to be home for Christmas has sent my heart into a series of spirals and storms I may need Rudolph to lead me out of. But despite that heartbreak I have come to realize that it wasn’t really Christmas Day at all that seemed to pause the clocks. My parents taught me what it meant to be patient and give time to one another fully. That is where the magic lies. I am not sure when my whole family will gorge on crêpes together again, but when that day comes I know I will do everything I can to let the clock-stopping magic do its greatest work yet. 

Will & Ivey is rooted in family and is passionate about people finding their forever homes. We know this year is different and difficult, which is why we wish you an abundance of patience. Patience for you and those you love. We will continue to hold on to the hope that our relationships will only grow through these tough times. However you are celebrating this year, we wish you a safe and loving Holiday Season. 

- Audrey Ney, daughter of Sandra & Karl Ney