Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Happened

At four am the sound of little feet padding down the hallway roused me from my Christmas Eve sleep. "Who is it?" Brent groaned, but we both knew who the culprit was. 

I corralled Sawyer into our bed and Brent took refuge in the bunkbeds and there was lots of shushing and hissed whispers about going back to sleep and it being THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT. 

I tossed around a bit, hoping the cardboard I'd leaned up outside to cover the boys' window would not provoke suspicion at daylight. It had been a long morning in the kitchen as the boys and I made peppermint bark and jam thumbprint cookies and completed the first few steps of the cinnamon rolls

We hastily arranged a "playdate" at Doug and Mary's house while Brent and Nick raced against the sunset to assemble The Biggest Christmas Present of All Time. I sewed buttons on pajamas and Clementine slept fitfully, seemingly aware of the energy in the house and eager to be a part of it.

While Brent and Nick continued to toil in the backyard, the kids and I attended a Christmas Eve children's service. My own religious beliefs are hazy at best, but an hour of music, light, peace and joy felt like the right place for us to be.

The rendezvous point was dinner:

Once the children were nestled all snug in their beds, we adults fought the urge to stay up late into the night, sipping beers by the fire, wrapping the last few gifts, and savoring the excitement of knowing that in only a few hours Christmas morning would happen.

The four am wakeup call was thwarted and we managed to stay in our beds until seven. Suddenly the house came alive as the coffee maker gurgled and someone plugged in the Christmas tree. Brent's mom and grandma, who had been waiting outside for signs of life, bustled in the door. The fire was rekindled and the oven preheated. Jack and Sawyer emptied their stockings and Clementine stood in awe of it all. Once she discovered her Hello Kitty slippers and an entire bag of goldfish in her stocking, everything else was forgotten.

I learned a few things about Christmas this year: it really does pay to plan ahead. I spent the week before Christmas sewing those Christmas jammies instead of spending time with my family. I made an emergency trek to Joann's (fucking Joann's!) on December 22nd when it became painfully obvious that Simplicity 3669's version of a size six would fit like a half shirt on my five-year-old. Thankfully Butterick 5586 was there to save the day with its reasonable collar and sleeve instructions and appropriate sizing. Whew. For Clementine's top, I used this tutorial.

I also learned that our advent calendar works better when it's filled with things to do rather than things to have.

My kids don't miss candy if I forget to put it in their stockings.

They would have been just as happy with half of the presents they received.

I am a fan of rum-spiked eggnog.

I really should make those cinnamon rolls more than just once a year.

After breakfast we all sat around, coffee cups in hand and Christmas wrapping underfoot. "Did you have a merry Christmas? Did you get what you were hoping for?" There were grunts of assent as LEGOS structures were built and remote controlled dinosaurs terrorized our ankles.

"It looks like you missed one," I said casually, pulling a Christmas Story Red Rider BB gun holiday moment. "What's this?" A small box was retrieved from behind the tree which set off a new round of shrieks and giggles. Inside this small box was a clue. That clue led to another clue and so on. I do love a good scavenger hunt. And finally...


The aftermath included naps for all of the adults. Nick slid in and out of consciousness, cramming himself comically onto our shorter couch.

Some outtakes from our Christmas card photo shoot:

I'm always a little sad when it's over. "Mom, why can't Christmas be every day?" Sawyer has asked about a million times.

All that trampolining is exhausting. At least now we can all catch up on our sleep.