The other day a coworker and I were watching as dozens of excited second graders discussed the wonders of Christmas. The Christmas season for teachers is somewhat of an adorable nightmare.Nothing gets done this time of year because the kids’ minds are filled with visions of sugar cookies and Santa and no school for a week.
“Who can tell me what the BIG IDEA of this story was?”
We call on the child who is practically jumping out of his seat to answer. “Santa is bringing me the WIPEOUT video game, but my mom says I have to let my sister play or else she’s going to take it away,” he says proudly.
My coworker and I sigh at each other. We had lost the room, but honestly how could we compete with a fat man in a red suit that brings presents. We couldn’t be upset over our lost lesson because they were so cute, and when you’re seven Christmas is magical.
When thirty is sneaking up on you and you have no kids of your own it’s not. It’s bills and crowded malls and buying people junk they don’t need. It’s very easy to become jaded.
And yet every year I make the trek to my parents’ house for Christmas eve. There was a time when we all would gather and make dozens of cookies. That doesn’t happen any more.(You try getting three almost adult men to make and decorate dozens of cookies) But my mother (bless her heart), still buys the cookie mix every year.
They went unmade this year. And the decorations that used to look like Christmas threw up on our house were trimmed down to the bare minimum.
I thought that my parents were starting to give up on Christmas. With four kids in their twenties it’s hard to keep the magic alive.
And yet they surprised me.
“GET UP!” My mother pokes my in the forehead at six am. “It’s time to open presents.”
“Are you on drugs?” I glance at the clock then back at mommie dearest before I roll over and try to go back to sleep. She retaliates by putting the two month old puppy in my bed. The little scamp steps on my head, licks my face and then bites my ear.
I get up.
When I walk into my family’s formal living room I’m greeted by four equally groggy, half-dressed boys.
“Grumble, grumble,” one of them says by way of greeting.
And then my father who is way too chipper for six in the morning yells, “Look happy damn it. It’s Christmas day.” Before any of us can react he pulls out his camera and starts snapping pictures. Evil. EVIL man. I look like Medusa. One of my brothers is scratching his arm pit and we all look like a hot mess. EXCEPT for my mother who is freshly made up and in her shiny new Christmas pjs.
Together my parents view the pictures and laugh. They then show them to my youngest brother, who laughs. He then shows it to me. I cringe, lunge at him and try to delete the photo of me looking like a deranged mental hospital escapee. They all laugh and eventually we go about Christmas morning like we did when we were little. Just happy to be in the same room together.
What was the lesson in all that?
Go to bed Christmas eve in full hair and make up!
Your turn. How was your Christmas? Have you ever felt like the season has lost some of its magic? Have a funny experience to share? Any and all comments are welcome.