Upon the conclusion of Christmas, I have to wonder if or WHEN I will ever accept that children are completely unpredictable. One would think after over 5 years of ending a day saying to myself “that went horribly awry” or “well, that escalated quickly” I would have given up on the notion of anything ever going exactly the way I’d planned. But I didn’t. Does that make me an eternal optimist? Me??? Nah. I’d say more like an eternal SUCKER.
After many years of bah-humbugging my way through the months of November and December (and sometimes even spilling over into January- I disliked the holidays THAT much)- I finally embraced the holidays about two years ago. Since I’m so new to this merriment, I have not found myself adopting too many traditions right off the bat. Let’s not move in together too quickly, Christmas! I like to take things slow and really get to know each other first.
We bake the cookies for Santa from scratch (really because I love baking… but shhh), put them out with milk; the kids open ONE present a piece on Christmas eve (and they are ALWAYS pajamas); We read “The Night Before Christmas” on the night before Christmas (duh); we all go downstairs in the morning TOGETHER- no peeking (If I’m giving the fat man credit for the gifts, I’d better be able to see the looks on their faces when they realize Santa has come); we open stockings, then eat orange rolls, then open presents under the tree. Then we go to my Dad’s, and then drive to see the RIDICULOUS outdoor light display at the house of a prominent porn producer. Yes, I said porn producer.
That’s it! That’s all! That’s not asking for much, right? And there’s not a TON of room for error there, right?
I don’t buy into that whole setting your expectations low so you’re never disappointed crap that a lot of people have come to do- I just try not to be too anal retentive about TOO many things in my life. My new enjoyment of the joy and giving and delicious baked goods (and not so much the INSANE traffic and money spending and cold weather) is very laid back. No hustle or bustle… just a lot of movie watching and procrastinating. Easy peasy.
Since implementing my very few and easy to follow family traditions, things have run smoothly. I know what to expect when to expect them- and while I am not at ALL a controlling person (don’t laugh, I’m not!)- I’ve grown kind of used to things just going my way. I know… I know… becoming too comfortable was the FIRST mistake. Actually, second. The first was thinking that things going my way every year was normal. Seriously, what am I smoking over here? I’m not hittin’ the ‘nog too hard or cracking out on fruitcake. Even my pumpkin obsession has taken a back seat in order to hibernate so I can go equally as insane in November 2013 as I did this year.
Everything started out so great, I was lulled into a false sense of security that we would finish out this Christmas season with no gigantor disasters or sicknesses or dramatic explosions. We had all the gifts the boys wanted without them ever finding out we’d bought them. This year we didn’t even have to run out and buy more wrapping paper- of course this means we are COMPLETELY out now and a trip will have to be made next year, but that’s a year away. No midnight runs to Toys R Us for forgotten toys, nothing. The hardest thing we had to do was to find festive pajamas for Holden for his Christmas Eve gift. Who’da thunk stores don’t think 5 year olds want to be festive? Or you’d certainly think so with the cornucopia of Angry Birds pajamas and lack of anything resembling holiday attire. Annoying as shit. BUT- if that was the worst we’d experience? I am pretty sure considering it anything less than a win would be blasphemous and reason enough for nearly everyone else celebrating this season to spork the shit out of me. Well, not literally spork out my shit, ’cause that would be pretty darn nasty- but you get what I mean.
There were two arguments Thomas and I had over Christmas this year.
One: over the fact that he is a stick in the mud a-hole who doesn’t understand why I wrap bogus presents for the kids each year because “it doesn’t work”- aka- it never pisses them off. I don’t care! It’s still fucking funny and I’m GOING TO DO IT ANYWAY SO SHUT YOUR PIE HOLE
ahem… sorry about that
Two: What to do about the boys big presents. Okay, this wasn’t even an argument and more of a situation of “neither of us can decide so we’re going to get annoyed with each other” type thing. The big presents this year were bikes. Both boys got bikes. They had no idea. Well, maybe they had an idea but they didn’t KNOW. At 5 and 3, it seemed to be a little young to just wrap up their helmets and stick them under the tree and have the boys unwrap those and figure out what they were to go with. They’d probably be all “YAY HELMETS! LET’S WEAR THEM AND RUN AROUND AND FALL ON OUR HEADS!” instead of making the logical connection that they were only a piece to a puzzle.
Once we realized that, we knew the bikes just had to go under the tree… but I still don’t think either of us felt 100% that it was the right decision to make. But we did it, and then it was time to go to sleep.
Remember that false sense of security I mentioned? Yeah… that’s exactly what the kids wanted to happen. One kid in particular.
‘Twas the night before Christmas … or at least, it was still dark as hell outside so no creature SHOULD have been stirring, not even a mouse,
The stockings were dangling on the mantel by a hair,
In hopes that the fat man soon would be there’;
The children were SUPPOSED to be asleep in their beds,
with visions of reeses and board games frolicked through their heads,
With Daddy wearing flannel, and I in my fleece pants,
Dreaming of doing a Christmas morning victory dance;
When out in the stairwell arose such a clatter,
Daddy stumbled out of bed like a doofus to see what was the matter,
He raced down the hallway and peered into the well,
Turned on the light and then wanted to yell;
It was hard to see through crust in the eyes,
For it was the middle of the night and we all were surprised,
‘Cuz what to his drowsy eyes did appear?
But PARKER frozen staring at the tree like a deer!
I know the poem is longer than that- but seriously. PARKER! At the bottom of the stairs. Pointing and yelling “I GOT A BIKE!”
Well, there goes the element of surprise! My FAVORITE part of Christmas is making a mad dash down the stairs before the kids and seeing their faces when they first lay eyes on the tree. And now that little turd had taken it from me. Sure, we got him back in bed, and we got him down the stairs again along with Holden hours later- but his reaction was more “ho hum” than “ohh! ahh!”
What a rip off!
I really shouldn’t have sold those baby gates. Children cannot be trusted on Christmas!
Here’s to next year and a keen awareness of shenanigans and chicanery!
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