Organized Christmas

For those of you who were faithfully waiting up late for my weekly post last Sunday (all two of you); firstly (to be polite) I offer my profound apologies, secondly (to be honest) you may want to think about taking up a hobby. Come on, it was practically Christmas Eve, and Father Christmas had a lot to assemble. Have a little sympathy for me.

Christmas morningThis year we had a very special surprise for Christmas, Wife got morning sickness. Yes, you read correctly. We are expecting a new baby. And I do mean “we” very liberally, really Wife is doing all the heavy lifting. Come late next year (September) we will welcome another member to the family who will be named, predictably, #8.

The blessing of another child is simply unparalleled, and never gets old. It seems fitting that we should learn about our good news just before the day celebrating the birth of the Good News itself. Needless to say (though I will anyway) the whole family is looking forward to the new baby.

When I was a boy, Christmas morning was a mayhem that started at about 4:00am. Wife claims her Christmases were completely organized (something I doubted until recently). Wife has so subdued my Christmas that I have felt the urge to get a cup of coffee in the middle of it. We do it something like this:

#1 opens a gift, picked by her mother. After the gift is opened, “Show it to me. Very nice. Give it to your father to open for you. Now everyone pick up the wrapping paper.”

plastic knightsAnd the formula is repeated down the line until all the presents are opened one at a time. The first time Wife attempted this, I nearly pulled my hair out, which in turn resulted in a Christmas day blowout.

We have come a long way from that first Christmas, just me, her, and her pregnancy. The children conform nicely to her conceptions of the Holiday. They patiently bounce up and down around the tree like a kind of cross between a bunny rabbit and a vulture. When their turn comes they swoop down to ravage the paper and then bounce away with their prize.

I can claim one total victory with the Christmas day customs. The children decide when we start opening up the gifts, or at least when they wake up and wake up the house hold, then we start. That was my Christmas boyhood memories: waking up at 4:00 in the morning, waking up the other kids, and finally waking up my parents. Now my children do the same.

Christmas morning little voices whispered at our door until Wife and I were awake. I rolled over to open my bleary eyes at the face of the alarm clock. It was 3:30am. At this point I started to wonder about the custom I had insisted on in my inexperienced youth.opening presents

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