Here’s How Our Christmas Went:

I cannot refer to my mother, my step-mother, and my mother-in-law as numbers 1, 2 & 3, because they each hold place in my heart beyond any ranking. I do refer to all three as “Mom’ in everyday life, but for this post, I’ll refer to them by the titles given them by my daughters. On the eve of Christmas Eve (aka Friday, December 23) we had Christmas with ‘Granny’ and ‘Papa Tury’. We opened presents after dinner and dessert, in spite of much wailing and gnashing of teeth. First, my five year old opened a lovely wrap sweater, and said in quite a matter-of-fact tone, “I don’t like it.” Next gift was a March of the Penguins DVD. It was as if Sweet Pea had been retro-fitted with a jet-propulsion system in her fanny. She rocketed out of the chair she was in, and began shouting “MARCHOFTHEPENGUINS! WOW! THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU! HOW DID YOU KNOW I’VE ALWAYS WANTED THIS?” DH said to Granny, “See? It’s all about averages.” Hahaha!

The next night, Christmas Eve, we spent with DH’s parents, ‘Grandma’ and ‘Grandpa’. One of the gifts that Princess unwrapped was a toy electric guitar. Good thing it was the final gift, because Halie was so enthralled with her new musical instrument that she lost track of every other person and present. For an hour, Princess retreated upstairs to ‘play’ her new guitar while the rest of us watched Polar Express downstairs. Next thing I knew, Princess was giving a free concert in the front yard at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. While several cars/vans rolled slowly down the street, admiring the houses decorated in twinkling lights, my oldest daughter shouted at them: “COME SEE THE ROCK SHOW!” I’m still not sure if the drivers stopped to admire the oversized snow globe in the front yard, or to pay homage to my seven year old daughter’s efforts to produce a tune from a plastic pretend guitar. God bless them, every one.
We got home just about the girls’ bedtime, and they were adamant about setting out snacks for Santa and Rudolph. We had cookies (thanks Grandma) and milk, but I had to search for a carrot. Luckily, I found a carrot in the back of our produce drawer, and set it beside Santa’s goodies on the hearth. We did a quick splash and dash bathtime, painted on the PJs and tossed our daughters into bed. I have a routine that my Sweet Pea loves: I cover her and tuck her into her comforter, rolling her like a mummy. But my five year old looked like she was already asleep on Christmas Eve when I went to complete the routine like usual. I whispered, “Are you asleep?” and she replied in the same way, “No, but I want to fall asleep so Santa will come sooner.” I went in to kiss Princess goodnight, and she pointed to a piece of paper on a shelf in her room. “It’s a letter to Santa,” she said, “asking him to give you another chance to believe, so you can get gifts again.” Say it with me, please: Awww!

So, DH and I were up until midnight wrapping gifts. Why didn’t we do it earlier? Have you heard my motto? ‘Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow.’ We were just headed to bed when we realized that we still needed to eat the snacks for our daughters’ benefit. DH played Santa and grabbed the cookies, while I carried on tradition playing Rudolph, and took a big bite of the carrot. At that moment, I realized 1)I had neglected to wash the carrot, and 2)the carrot tasted much worse than if I had just skipped washing it. As I dashed toward the kitchen trash, I turned the carrot over in my hand, revealing two large rotten spots I had not seen earlier. I spewed the rotten carrot chunks into the trash can while DH got me a glass of water to rinse out my mouth. Whew! I added a note to the girls from Santa about Rudolph being too full from all the snacks along the way to Texas on Christmas Eve. The next morning, my girls loved the special message from Santa!

Christmas Day began early with Sweet Pea climbing into our bed at 6AM, along with Princess about 7AM. They were cuddly and quiet, until Stinker began chirping down the hall. About 7:15, we all rolled out of bed and headed to the living room. It took about five minutes for the girls to open all of their gifts, then Princess turned to me and said what has become a tradition, a”This is the best Christmas ever!

At lunch time, we headed over to Papa and Rainie’s for the final stop on the Christmas roller coaster of gift-giving. After Sweet Pea’s reaction to the gorgeous sweater from her Granny, I wanted to head off her rotten attitude at the pass. I asked her to practice what she would say when she opened clothing gifts at my parent’s house: “Thank You!” or “Merry Christmas!”
Princess was thrilled with every package she opened. Sweet Pea? Not so much. When Rainie, who played Santa handing out gifts, gave Sweet Pea a large box, my five year old frowned. “This had better not be clothes again.” I took this as an opportunity to remind her what she needed to say, just like we rehearsed earlier in the day. In her grumpiest, muffled voice, Sweet Pea said, “thankyoumerrychristmas“. DH told everybody, “Just wait. When she’s looking for something to wear later this week, Sweet Pea will be asking for one of her new outfits!”
I hate to admit that I went through the same ungrateful brat stage at about the same age as Sweet Pea. I don’t remember it well, but I have parents who do, I’m certain.


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