Monday, December 11, 2006

My Christmas Wish!

When my sisters and I were little we had a Christmas morning rule, well two really: (1.) You may not step one toe past the bathroom without Mom and Dad, and (2.) You may not wake Mom or Dad up until seven a.m. You see, we had each staked a claim on one seat in the living room and on Christmas morning every one of our toys was set out in our areas, unwrapped and waiting for us.
You can imagine that the excitement of Christmas morning woke us long before seven, but the fear that our Christmas presents would disappear in a poof of dust kept us from going past the bathroom door without our mom and dad. At least, I never did, and I am pretty sure that my sisters didn't. I will admit, however, to high stretches and little mini-hops trying to see, but the design of our hallway kept me from seeing anything good. Instead, Meander and I would stay in our beds until our excitement could no longer be contained, then we'd pile into La Sirena's tiny twin bed and read Christmas books (especially Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry) until it was time to wake up our parents. Then we'd have a short wait in their room while they prepared the equipment to properly record the occasion (first on that silent film and later on VHS). Then we'd be allowed to walk single file down the hall and get a glimpse of the treasure trove that awaited us.
Later as teenagers, and even now as adults, when my sisters and I talk about our Christmas mornings there are doubters (There is NO WAY that you guys never peeked!) and haters (God, your parents were so mean!). But I really loved it! It extended the anticipation. You are wide awake and all of your presents are just down the hall, what could they be?
I've even tried to enforce the rules on my kids. I am successful for the most part. Usually our activities on Christmas Eve wear them out so thoroughly that I end up waking them up at eight because my excitement at seeing their excitement is more than I can bear.
I do run into some problems though. You see, Mr. H.'s Christmases consisted of waking up at five a.m. ripping open all his presents and going back to bed before his parents ever woke up. He is a firm believer in this. Last Christmas he thought he'd be nice and let me sleep in.
GACK! I didn't get to snap pictures of their first glimpse of their presents. Didn't get to see that moment of surprise and glee at seeing that they got what they wanted. Didn't get to see what the very first thing they went to was. That's a whole lot to miss.
See in the end that's what my parents wanted. They wanted the joy, at least my mom wanted the joy, and my dad wanted it for her. Christmas isn't about the thanks you get for finding the perfect presents. You don't get thanks, Santa does. But I spend the better part of December making sure Santa gets the right things and staying up late to help him arrange those gifts perfectly and I want to see that Santa got it right.
I think my utter disappointment and depression at missing the moment has helped Mr. H. get a clue. Because the moment is all I really want this year and every year until Santa stops coming to my house.


Meander said...

You've had a run of really nice posts Liza. Keep up the good work. I love sentimentality. Especially in December.

Woodlandmama said...