We still have young children so we still indulge in the consumerism part of Christmas as much as the next family. Yes, we fully understand the real meaning but we are consumers after all. Moreover, we are parents to two boys, ages 7 and 8 and one is a full believer in the red nosed reindeer and a jolly ol’ fat man. The 8 year old has started to ask questions but he isn’t quite sure he should just out right suggest that he doesn’t believe. We have convinced them that only the believers get gifts and for now, it’s working so that he doesn’t ruin his younger brothers land of make believe. Heck, I’m glad he hasn’t ruined it for me.
My husband and I get a few gifts for the kids from us and they are wrapped and put under the tree early. Then, Santa, sporting his own wrapping paper that they have never seen spends Christmas Even night wrapping until all hours of the night. Every year we vow to do it differently the next year…but this is 9 years in the making so heck, why change tradition now?
I do need to share a short story about our run in with playing Santa and having our own wonderful Christmas morning spoiled. It was three years ago, the wrapping was late starting because although the boys were anxious to go to bed, they seem to take a long time to go to sleep. So, while we waited, my husband and I exchanged gifts which is basically a tradition that we started as well. That way on Christmas morning, the only folks with gifts are the kids.
That said, it was close to 1 AM when we finished putting the finishing touches on stockings and wrapping up the final gifts. We headed to bed…..and then it happened. We were snoozing well and the boys where in their own beds (don’t laugh, they still don’t sleep there on a regular basis). Well we just thought they were in their own beds and at 3:30 when they barreled into our room, we were content to make room for them to find a place to sleep for a couple of hours.
Instead, they were giddy and giggly and insisted that we come see all the stuff that Santa had brought. Still sounds innocent enough but once we agree to take a peek into the family room……we were shocked to see that not only had Santa delivered but 2 little boys had graciously opened every single present under the tree. Even the ones that had someone’s name on them besides their own. They dind’t leave a gift under the tree at all nor had they offered to clean up their mess. The family room was cluttered with wrapping paper and tissue and a mound of toys.
I was so upset, I had missed the Christmas morning photo opportunities and it was just 3:30 in the morning. We convinced them to head back to bed where they at least tried to sleep til about 6. However, I was intent on teaching a lesson and I continued to sleep til about 8:30. Finally, my husband insisted that I get up because all the gifts were now unwrapped, thanks to the little ones, and they were just bug eyed and waiting to get their grubby hands on them.
I gave up, we sat down in the floor as a family and watched as they played…..no photos of gifts being wrapped and none of them posing with big toothless grins as they discovered what was inside. Since that time, we’ve hid Easter Baskets and Christmas Stockings in our bathtub to ensure that they don’t find them too early in the morning and we always put them in our bed on Christmas Eve. At least if they are in our bed and they try to sneak up, we would definitely wake up in time to stop them. After all, four people in one bed, if you get any extra room, you are sure to notice.
Tonight will be no different. We will send them to bed, wait on them to catch some zzz’s and then we will start wrapping up the stash that Santa has left. Earlier this week, the 8 year old apparently remembered that great fiasco and we caught him thinking aloud about what he would do if he woke up before us. You can read about The Promise of Christmas Past on my blog and see just how we plan to combat a repeat performance…even if we have been warned.