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It’s almost here

The stage is set.  The Christmas tree looms in the dark living room behind me, its lights off for the night.  Underneath the pile of presents is beginning to look impressive (and that’s in spite of the cats running through them), but the wrapping of items still in bags and sacks is still underway.   The kids have returned from their rest-of-the-year residences and are sleeping on guest beds, pull out beds, and one poor soul on a couch.  (He’s off visiting his girl friend today and tomorrow, so he doesn’t count.)  Tomorrow night will be our Christmas Eve dinner, which some time years ago was lamb chops (and a small steak for the one of us who doesn’t like lamb), and so somehow became the forever dinner for Christmas Eve.  And then on Saturday the day for which we’ve been preparing more or less feverishly all month will be here.

When I was little, I couldn’t sleep Christmas Eve — or at least I didn’t think I could — lying awake listening for the reindeer (in Hawaii, this was — kids can believe anything) and wondering what would be under the tree.  When my children were little, they claimed they couldn’t sleep either.  Oh yes — there was the Christmas Eve I managed to set the chimney on fire and although it burned itself out, and all the neighboring houses were protected from the ashes by a thick coating of snow.  However the firemen I summoned while my dear husband was out in the back yard to see if the chimney really was on fire insisted on checking the full length of the chimney, including the bit up in the attic.  The only way they could get up there was through the opening in my oldest daughter’s closet.  He got up without trouble, but as he was preparing to come down, my daughter roused and sat up to see one large firefighter’s boot coming down in her closet.  Her eyes were suddenly wide as saucers and she plopped back down, pulling the sheet over her head.  I thought she was going to believe in Santa forever.

Now we all sleep soundly through the night.  Well, my grandchildren don’t, but they’re down at their own house, and it’s my daughter and her husband’s problem now.  They get up very early — just as my lot used to do — and have their stockings down at their house before they come here, at 9 or 10.  All of us here are perfectly content to sleep late.  But after toast and egg nog (from the supermarket) and orange juice for those who can’t handle the egg nog, I notice the adults don’t lose a whole lot of time, either, getting into the living room and the tree.

Everything changes and everything stays the same.  The excitement is there, just as it used to be.  For just a few moments, on Christmas morning, the magic is there for all of us.

May your Christmas morning — if Christmas is to your family what it is to mine — hold the past, the present, and the future balanced in a moment.  Merry Christmas!


6 Responses

  1. LOL that’s so cool about the firefighter and your daughter. I have to give it up to her though, I would have SOOO been peeking!

  2. That’s my disciplined daughter. She still is, only now — doomed to disappointment — she’s working on getting me more disciplined. Must be her father’s genes.

  3. Merry Christmas Beppie.

    Love the story about your daughter.

    One year, my parents overslept and had to lock my sister and me in the bedroom while “Santa came” LOL

  4. Ah — Christmas and children! They feature together so regularly that we all tend to forget there are bumps and uneven steps in the process.

    But it’s fun. What my younger sister remembers best, she says now, is the Christmas after she “was told,” and was allowed to help set out the presents for the youngest one. Me, I guess I was amnesiac then, too. I don’t remember the same thing happening when I found out!

    Or maybe my parents got smarter. It happens.

  5. I love this post! LOL. Awesome.

    Merry Christmas!

  6. Merry Christmas Everyone.

    It’s the same way around here. Christmas is for the kids, the adults say they don’t want anything but they sure don’t mind opening their gifts.

    I remember as a child not being able to sleep at night on Christmas eve either. we would wake up at 6:00am and open gifts then go to my grandparents until we all got older and started having christmas at my grandparents on christmas eve. Now we still do that, have christmas eve for the extended family and christmas at home with our families.

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