Before and After

I had complained somewhere else about the fact that November had barely begun before my favourite radio station began to play Christmas music, and I wanted to know what all the rush was about.  Anyway, as normally happens in December, the days flew, and it no longer seemed out of place. I rotated my Christmas CD’s between the house and the car and proceeded to get into the spirit.

I found myself still adding decorations a few days before Christmas. That never happens. The kids couldn’t wait for the actual day and this year, surprisingly, I found myself being swept along in the wave of excitement.

Years ago, I came to the realization that Christmas (at least the gift part) was mostly for the kids, so now I live vicariously through them, because I’m not getting any gifts – and if I do it’s things like blenders and cake pans – but I’m not complaining.

The promise to come
The promise to come

Thanks to a generous auntie, the tree was quite bountiful this year. I had considered adding these gifts after they went to bed, but I would have missed seeing their mouths fall to the floor when they saw the loot in the back of the car – Santa’s sled had four wheels this year. They were ready to go to bed right after that – because when they woke up it would be C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S.

Since we had instituted a no opening of presents rule without at least one parent watching, it meant that they had to wake somebody up to accomplish the deed. I played dead the first time they came around. On the second pass, I asked for five minutes more. And when I knew that further delay was futile, I dragged myself out of bed to brush my teeth. Because oohing and aahing with morning breath is just – well, not good.

It amazes me how they just go through the presents like a cutlass going through grass. Or a knife through butter. They tear off the wrapping paper, glance quickly and move on to the next. It’s my job to determine who it’s from so that they know who to thank. And walk behind them with the plastic bag to pick up the pieces.

My son received something he’s been wanting since last year, so a couple days later, that gift is still highly favoured. I have since stepped on several items from one of my daughter’s presents- one of those numbers with a ton-load of small parts that are sure to be lost come this time next week. But she assures me that she knows where they are – maybe because she’s closer to the ground than I am.

Two days after Christmas, the radio station is back to its regularly scheduled programming because Christmas is O-V-E-R.

The spoils of "war"?
The spoils of “war”?
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