Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Morn

I have to get through the next five hours and forty-two minutes of work and then I am home free. Christmas will officially begin for me at 1:00pm this afternoon. I have all of my shopping done. I was able to wrap a large majority of the mountain of gifts stashed in my bedroom closet last night. I have a little bit of wrapping left to do tonight, but nothing overly taxing. I plan on making my turtle cheesecakes this afternoon. Luckily, my family does a much more casual meal for Christmas. Thanksgiving is all about the food, so we go all out with a huge turkey dinner. Christmas is more about the gift exchange, silly games, and simply being together as a family. So we do a much more casual meal for Christmas. This year, we are having pulled pork sandwiches (I make a kick-butt homemade pulled pork), baked beans, potato salad, and pasta salad. More "tailgate party" than Christmas feast. But that's the way we rednecks roll.

My absolute favorite part of Christmas is watching my kids unwrap their presents from Santa on Christmas morning. Logic would dictate that my own presents would be my favorite. However, all logic goes out the window when one has children. I simply cannot wait to wake up Christmas morning to three impatient little creatures hovering over my head, hugging their blankies and shuddering with excitement. Lucas will no doubt be the first one up at the crack of dawn and will immediately wake his brother and sister to peek in the living room at the stacks of presents piled up under the tree. I will lay in bed sound asleep until I am awakened by what will undoubtedly sound like a heard of elephants tromping up my stairs. I will pretend their rampage up the stairs did not wake me. I will lay there silently until Lucas starts to poke me. The poking will continue until I open one eye and startle to find his grinning face exactly two inches from my head. "Mom? Are you awake? Wake up!" The kids will jump up and down, chatter incessantly, and pace impatiently while Ruanita and I assume a vertical position, stretch, put on socks, use the restroom, and otherwise attempt to rouse our sleeping brains. We will then stumble down the stairs, bleary-eyed, to assume our positions on the living room floor.

Stockings are first. The kids will oooh and aaah over the multitude of little toys and sweet treats in their stockings. Santa is not a fan of tooth decay (or sugar-wired children), so there will be way more toys than sweet treats. Santa did, however, find some Mario and Luigi gummy candy that will be a big hit with my video-game adoring boys. And Christmas Pez dispensers are a tradition.

After the stockings are tossed aside in anticipation of the larger haul under the tree, we will begin passing out presents. I will try with all my might to make the kids take turns opening presents so I do not miss any of the excited looks on their faces. They will, of course, lack the patience to comply with that request, and wrapping paper and boxes will be flying all over the living room. I will catch glimpses of their excited smiles through the flying paper. When all the presents are opened, the kids will neatly stack their newly-acquired toys and stare at them in awe. Lucas will surely announce (as he does every year) that this is "the best Christmas ever!" Sophie will pledge her undying love and devotion to Santa. Nicholas will almost immediately begin telling us which of his presents he doesn't like, and will try to pawn them off on his brother and sister. Don't get me wrong...he will be beyond thrilled with some of his gifts. Others, not so much. And he doesn't fake excitement. No, Nicholas is brutally honest. If he doesn't care for something, he will tell you so and then try to give it to you. Just yesterday, my sister told him that she bought him a pair of Toy Story socks. His response? "I don't want them." He's not being mean. Just honest. And he means it....he does not want them. Nice, huh?

After all of the paper and boxes are put away, I will make cinnamon rolls for breakfast while the kids play with their new toys. Ruanita and I will stand in the doorway and watch the kids. Our children. Enjoying our Christmas. In our warm, cozy home. Life is pretty damn good.


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