Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Tales from Christmas 2017

This post could have been titled Epic Mom Fail

I am a planner.  I love the planning of November and December.  I love making memories for and with the kids.  I love being thoughtful.  The planning and anticipation is more fun for me than the actual event.

Weeks before Christmas, I take the below photo while the kids were sleeping.  (Yes, they seriously are that cute when they sleep.)

I plan to leave it out for Christmas morning with a note from Elfie that said "I hugged you goodbye."
Sentimentality tear-jerker, for those who get the Elf, right?  The magic is so short, only a few years long really.  It is surely to be the last year in our house;  Joseph is figuring things out and told Abigail all month that Santa isn't real.

I had the photo printed and hidden from the kids.

On Christmas Eve, I bathed the kids and I made sure that Joseph wore a red shirt to bed because some red was visible under the blanket.  

I made sure the same pillow cases were on the bed, in the same order and the kids were in in that order. 

After the kids were asleep, I carefully laid out the picture from Elfie and a letter from Santa, next to the cookie crumbs, that said "I have Elfie.  Merry Christmas."

I filled the stockings.  I put presents under the tree.  I cleaned up various dishes and things lying around the house.  

I went to bed with a feeling that I was forgetting something.

On Christmas morning, the kids were excited to find the picture from Elfie and note from Santa.  Abigail read everything out loud to Joseph and when she read "I hugged you goodbye" Joseph cocked his head to the side and trilled "aawww", his voice falling and rising with admiration.

They opened their stockings and then their gifts from Santa.  

Then they went into their playroom and I heard Abigail yell "ELFIE IS STILL HERE!  He is in the same spot as yesterday."


I slipped into a ridiculously crazy Christmas depression after that.  I couldn't believe I messed it up.  


Do you remember getting a Christmas catalog when you were little?  I remember it from the '80s.  We would get a thick Sears or Montgomery Wards catalog and my brothers and I would pour over it, deliberating what we would ask for, trying to be strategic about it.

This year, the kids got a Target Christmas catalog.  It wasn't the door-jam sized tome we used to get, but inside it had the HotWheels Super Ultimate Gorilla Attack Garage.  They wanted this more than anything.  Larry and I told them no in a thousand different ways.  They pined over it when they saw it in the stores.  They teamed up and thought if that was all they asked for together, maybe they would get it.  We prodded them to ask for other smaller stuff.  After weeks of this dance, I think they gave up hope of getting it, but still really couldn't be pressed for anything else they wanted.  But they didn't ask for the garage anymore. 

By that point, the garage was already hidden in a closet.

On Christmas morning, the kids opened the gifts from relatives and the very few modest things we got them (galoshes, flip flops, shirts, a board game, a few Legos, a book).  They looked around and we asked "Did you get everything you want?  Are you happy?  Is anything missing?"  

And the kids assured us they were happy, there is nothing more they could want, and that they were very content and grateful for what they had.

I was so proud of them.  But then we had my parents cover their eyes and Larry carried out the Gorilla Garage.  

They were very excited and surprised to get it.  

An hour later, Larry had the thing put together.  
And the kids decided it was more fun to play in the box next to it.


Lastly, I wanted to share what a kind, old soul Abigail continues to be.  She discovered a box of generic Christmas cards this year and she wanted to make cards and drawings for everyone she loved.  We all got the sweetest drawings and letters from Abigail this year.