It was a good Christmas.
Many of our past Christmases have contained moments (or longer) of frustration and unmet expectations, which became exponentially blown out of proportion because of the fact that it’s CHRISTMAS DAY FOR CRYING OUT LOUD and ALL IS SUPPOSED TO BE COMPLETELY IDYLLIC.
You know, like a kid busting her head on her brand new bed.
Or another kid having a tiny moment of ungratefulness which makes a parent’s insides boil at the ludicrousness of Christmas Day Ungratefulness.
That kind of thing.
And so, this year, Chris and I began talking weeks beforehand.
“Let’s ratchet down our expectations.”
“Whatever happens on Christmas day, we won’t get frustrated.”
“Yes. We’ll plan on everything being a complete disaster. Kids screaming, presents breaking, lunch burning, people puking, emergency room trips – the whole thing. Then we won’t react when things go wrong.”
We repeated our mantra nightly.
“We will not become frustrated on Christmas Day. We will not become frustrated on Christmas Day.”
So we went into Christmas Day with me sick (but seemingly not contagious), all plans in tentative mode, and completely grateful for any joyous moment we might come upon.
And as such, we had the best Christmas Day ever.
So if you, like us, struggle to not let the little things get under your skin on major holidays, I highly recommend a deep sickness leading up to each one.
Anyway, here were a few of our favorite moments.
10. Making Christmas Eve Gingerbread Cookies – mainly so I didn’t feel like such a schmuck for doing nothing Christmasy with the children for the prior five days.
But despite my selfish motives, they adored it,
right down to…listening to the cookies?
Maybe they expected to hear tiny Gingerbread screams, I don’t know.
9. Ali’s interpretation of leaving Milk and Cookies for Santa.
Clearly, he’s a Hipster.
8. Noah’s traditional refusal to take a decent Christmas Eve Jammies Picture.
7. Christmas eBay Purchases. WHY doesn’t Lego make Bob the Builder Duplos anymore? Whatever the reason it’s not good enough. But thanks to the lovely invention of Online Auctions, we were able to gift Noah in this combination of his two favorite things.
(Oh. The train tent in the background? That was Santa’s best interpretation of Noah’s only Request – a “Tall Tall Train.” However, Noah refused to enter into the Holy of Holies for the first twelve hours, but will now not come out. So I guess it passed the test.)
At any rate, when Noah saw the Bob the Builder Duplos, his reaction was to scream, “WHO brought these to me?!?!?!”
So we’ll call that a win.
6. Ali’s first Christmas to request books. LOTS of books.
There’s nothing more exciting than raising a little literature geek.
A geek who also methodically opened,
then sorted all of her presents. And was quite nervous when her brother came to inspect her stacks.
And a sugar rush.
4. Ridiculous Messes.
3. Ali being a volunteer gift-bringer and Noah being a complete squealing narcissist when finding photos of himself in other people’s presents.
2. Contortionist Cousin Eli and his annual attempt to fit into my Grandmother’s Tiny Dog’s crate.
Another successful year in the books.
(And then the attempts to unfold him out of the crate.)
He’s gotten more rubber than last year, when we had to disassemble for removal.
1. My sadistic mother and her hiding of the children’s gifts, making them answer questions about The Christmas Story to earn puzzle pieces,
and work as a team to piece together the puzzle and find clues to hunt down their presents.
Nobody would ever accuse her of being a Veteran Homeschool Mom.
(But the children loved it, of course.)
(After they were assured that their presents were safe and unharmed.)
0. (Yes I can have a 0 it’s my blog post!)
The children declaring at least thirty times each that it was the best Christmas EVER.
And I absolutely agree.
What were your top moments this Christmas?