What is better than Christmas morning? Nothing. It is the most magical one-day-a-year…at least it is in my head. As parents, we want Christmas morning to be a time full of smiles, excitement, and maybe a little bit of magic for both our children and for ourselves. We hope our kids will remember our Christmases together as a family when they are grown and we can talk about the memories for years to come. Alright, maybe I watch a few too many of those sappy Hallmark Christmas movies. But somehow, every year, I expect this great, wonderful, perfect morning…and each year I am slightly disappointed that it didn’t turn out quite like I had pictured in my head.
In my head
The children quietly wake up on Christmas morning to find beautiful, white, fluffy snow slowly falling and gently covering the pine trees. Excited, to see if Santa came, they sneak down to find the beautiful Christmas tree lit and twinkling with all the amazing, perfectly wrapped presents beneath the tree. There is soft Christmas music playing in the background and the house smells of hot chocolate and fresh cinnamon rolls just out of the oven. The kids quickly run back upstairs and wake up mom and dad to come down so they can open their presents. We all sit around the Christmas tree together laughing and taking turns opening each of the gifts together as a family. Once everything is opened, the kids quietly play with their new toys while mom and dad sip their coffee and just sit back and enjoy the moment.
The over-tired, over-stimulated, sugar-high children excitedly storm into our room at the break of dawn, slamming the door against the wall from the force of opening it so quickly. Not only do they scare the shit out of us with the loud slam, they proceed to jump on us and nag us until we finally give in and stumble our way out of bed...in the dark. The kids run down the stairs as fast as they can and I am heard bellowing from the top of the stairs, “Wait for mom. Don’t you dare touch those presents until I get down there” as I quickly try to get on my pants and slippers. I fumble for my camera and run downstairs as quickly as I can in hopes of capturing the magic when they first see the gifts that Santa left for them. On the way down, I step on the cat’s tail and she runs away wailing. The dog has to go outside and in the excitement, no one has let him out, so he starts to take a dump right there on the rug. Nothing like the smell of a hot, steamy pile of dog shit to make Christmas morning complete. I’m yelling for my husband to hurry up and get down here so he doesn’t miss it all. Meanwhile, the paper-ripping, box-destroying, toy free-for-all is happening just a few feet away in the living room. In a matter of minutes, the kids have torn through all the packages and their stockings without even a pause for a breath…or a single picture. The whole process lasts a whopping 5 minutes in its entirety…and there is no Christmas magic anywhere to be found. Another Christmas morning done and gone before I am even fully awake to enjoy it. And that’s a wrap.
So, the silver lining or lesson here? I guess all we can do is try to go with the flow and enjoy the moment (literally)…every loud, rushed, glorious moment of it. No Christmas morning is complete without nagging, tantrums, attitude, tears, yelling, and maybe even a little poop. Someday, we’ll look back at these “perfect” moments and wish we could have them back. Or so they say…Meanwhile, perhaps a shot of schnapps in our coffee is in order. Tis the season!
Merry Christmas everyone!