Last night in our house, St. Nicholas came and put a few odds and ends into stockings. This was a tradition from Holly’s childhood and not mine, so I’m still not too sure how it is supposed to go. My family always had stockings filled on Christmas morn. Anyway, the kids (ages 6 and 8) were buzzing with excitement yesterday morning, which was St. Nick’s eve day. LoudBoy was like a plucked guitar string, humming at a higher frequency, almost jumping out of his skin. “I am sooo excited for tonight [about St. Nick coming]!” Unbridled joy and excitement, what a treat. By bedtime, that’s all they were talking about as they snuggled up in the big blankets in their chilly rooms. Wonderful moment to see and experience.
My wife was out of town for work, so I was on my own. The stockings were hung on the fireplace with care, but I didn’t know whos was whos (no names on them). I first remembered which was the dog’s, then mine, then Holly’s so it was 50/50 which was the boy’s and which was the girl’s. I stuffed them with the following items:
Berties Every Flavor Beans (Harry Potter themed Jelly Belly beans with flavors like rotten egg, grass, tutie fruity and vomit, good stuff!)
Random Lego figurine
and a pack of gum.
..and for my wife a pack of Burt’s bees lip balms and me a new kitchen timer that I needed for my home gym. The dog got a new collar and leash and some treats. What she did to deserve them, I don’t know; especially since she’s taken to shitting in Birdsnest’s room since the weather has turned cold, but that’s a story for another day.
At exactly 4:41 a.m. this morning, LoudBoy comes into my room – both him and his sister had already apparently been awake for 10 minutes I’m guessing – and starts rattling off what was in everyone stockings. They were both very excited! I took in the moment for a few minutes, took the dog out to do her business, and tried to get another hour of shut eye. That’s one gift having kids that are finally old enough to not kill themselves if left alone; being able to catch a few more winks in cases where they don’t care that it’s 4:30 in the fucking morning when they wake you up.
Anyways, this is just a taste of how they behave on Christmas morning.
A slight update on the Thanksgiving post from a few days ago. My wife and I have decided enough is enough for trying to please everyone for both T-day and Christmas. We have told families we will be alternating holidays effective immediately, so we aren’t going to my parents for Christmas this year, and hopefully will host at our house next year to not deal with what has become a manic holiday episode of the show Hoarders. We’d like to focus less on the huge production that is Christmas at my parents and enjoy the relaxing family time, while restressing what Christmas really is to the kids. While I’m a reformed Catholic turned atheist, Holly still wants to embrace in her own way some religion. I’m fine with that, and think in general the church (really any religion) has a lot of good teaching on morals and values. Anyway, we plan to go to a Christmas Eve candlelight service this year to at least show the kids what the real story of Christmas is and try and refocus them a little.
Regardless of our best intentions though, I fully expect to be up by 5:30 on Christmas morning, bleary eyed and tired, getting the coffee ready so we can see the light of our lives shining as brightly as they ever are, with the dog trying to eat and play with the wrapping paper balls thrown at her.
Hope the start of your holiday season is a good one! [Crap! I just remembered we still haven’t ordered Christmas cards, I better get on that!]