Thursday, December 22, 2005

T'was the night before Christmas Eve Eve...


...and all through the house, many creatures were stirring, much bigger than a mouse! (My apologies to Clement Clark Moore)
Tomorrow we will be celebrating Christmas Eve Eve. It seems odd, to pretend tomorrow is Christmas, but it is easier than carting lots of presents to Grandma's house. We will wake up before dawn, go see what Santa's elves brought (yes, my children do believe that FedEx and UPS are Santa's elves!), and then have a merry Christmas breakfast including pancakes in the shape of Christmas trees.
I remember when I was younger, the night before Christmas was pure agony. I would get into bed with no hope of falling asleep anytime soon. Since I was on the top of a bunk bed, I would stare out my window for quite a long time until falling my eyes got droopy. Then, at 4am, I would wake up and gather some siblings, so we could sneak out and see what Santa had brought us. We would quietly tiptoe out to the family room, look at what big gifts hadn't been wrapped, and then take our stockings back into our bedroom to see what loot they contained.
Santa didn't usually disappoint, even when finances were tight. At least one of us would usually get a new bike. One year Santa brought a basket ball hoop for Dad to install in our backyard. In sixth grade Santa brought me a boombox, which was quite exciting.
It is so easy to go overboard for Christmas. I always end up spending more on the kids than I think I will. This year I thought I would get my shopping done early, but then I would be out and see other things I knew the kids would love. At a certain point you just have to tell yourself that if the kids have too many toys, there won't be a need for their imaginations anymore.
Sometimes it is tough to find presents that the child will love and that will also stimulate them. Andrew was easy... the budding entemologist is getting a microscope. Ethan was a little harder, but hopefully the wild animal encyclopedia he is getting will get him out of his Godzilla phase, at least occasionally!
Emma has been the easiest to shop for, because we don't have many girl toys. For her birthday she got a kitchen, for Christmas she is getting a broom and vacuum. Hopefully now she won't steal mine on the rare occasions I use them!
Happy Christmas and a very Merry New Year!

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