It happens every single Christmas. On Christmas night when everyone is off playing with their new toys in their rooms, and I'm shutting down the house for the night I start to get a little sad. With all the build up and preparations for Christmas Day, why does it pass so quickly?
This December was far too busy for my taste. The hubster is in the middle of crunch time because he works for a large retailer sending out their emails. I am in CHA (tradeshow) crunch time and am working long hours. Kate has been working hard both at work and at school trying to get things done before the term ends. And James is just a busy guy with friends and plans of his own.
Any attempt to do Christmas traditions for us is nearly impossible. This year there was no Elf on the Shelf, our attempt to read holiday stories each night went out the window, no one wanted to watch my Rankin & Bass Christmas movies. It was just sad, sad, sad. We did get to see the holiday lights in town but that was the only thing we did this year.
Why are some years full of magic and then other years are just duds? Seriously? That totally bugs me. It also makes me feel a little bit like a failure, but sometimes life really does just get in the way.
Christmas Day was a mixed bag. I was a little down and totally worn out. But the kids and Brett were as happy as could be, and that is really all I ever want for Christmas so that helped to cheer me up.
We woke the kids up at 6:30 a.m. I think that's the first Christmas we've had to wake them up, but Brett and I are almost always awake by 5 a.m. these days so we were up and waiting and ready to go.
We have a fun tradition of the kids building Legos for hours on Christmas morning so each kid got a few Lego sets to keep them busy. Kate's Santa pile included clothes, jewelry, a new ipod cover, and the things a teenage girl needs. While James's Santa pile included a ripstick (the BIG present from this year), a Nerf shotgun, and of course Legos.
Santa does not wrap presents at our house. He leaves them in a special spot, set-up and unwrapped to get the most excitement and reaction from the kids when they come down Christmas morning.
We do wrap our gifts that we exchange and after an hour or so of enjoying the toys, we then open our gifts.
The X-box One for the family was the big surprise. Brett kept opening accessories like a game and a controller for the new X-box, but James was concerned that they weren't compatible for the old X-box 360 we own. I played dumb (because when it comes to those kinds of things, I kind of am). But then when he saw the actual console, James knew that I was in on the plan. That is the first scream I think we've ever gotten from the boy on Christmas. It was well worth it.
Both of my parents came at some point during the day to visit. Gift wrapping was flying. Hugs were exchanged. It was a long but beautiful day; and despite my Christmas blues it really was a beautiful day. I was in bed by 8:30 p.m. being so completely tired; although, the kids were going for a little longer after that.
And in the evening, when the house was quiet and I had some time to reflect on the day I knew that the kids were content and happy and really that is what I was going for all along.