As you are all aware, Christmas, and its entire season, has since passed. But, I had written little about our holiday experience, and still wanted to share. And so, like Rip Van Winkle, better to show up late than never.
I had set aside time to wrap Wife’s Christmas gifts. Commandeering the girls’ bedroom, I gathered my supplies. Wrapping paper… check. Tape… check. Marker… check. Scissors… check. Children who want to help me… check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, and check. Suddenly the room seemed a lot smaller than when I first started.
I took Wife’s presents out of hiding and set the bags on the bed. The children bounced with excitement, and I had to settle them down so they would not bounce the presents onto the floor. I took from a shipping envelope the first couple of gifts we would wrap. I felt like Santa Claus surrounded by elves.
“Now remember,” I told the children. “Don’t tell your Mom what we are giving her. We want it to be a surprise.”
I received eight little heads nodding, while #9 tried to pocket the scissors. I took charge of those.
On the bed, I set several photo albums ordered online from the company Chatbooks. These were to be from the children. Feeling gracious from the season, I let the children pick which album they wanted to give. Not the most efficient way to make a decision.
After only a few minutes I realized the failure of giving a decision of this kind to the children. It was like opening up the garden gate to a herd of hogs and saying, “I’m going to feed this to you eventually, so what do you want to eat first.” And the result, everyone began to root around.
Soon, I was jumping from child to child in an attempt to pull their noses out of the albums and back to the job at hand. Forget feeling like Santa Claus, I was a sheepdog working hard to keep the herd moving in the right direction.
Decisions were made at last, the albums were wrapped and labeled. Before anything else was taken out of the bags to get wrapped, I sent the boys out of the room. For all they knew, I gave them the unique honor of placing their mother’s gifts under the tree. What they did not hear was the door lock behind them.
Now, I could finish wrapping with only the girls’ help.
But then I heard something.
#8’s voice carried through the door. “Mom! We wap you pic-chure booook!”