I spend most of the time in this space poking fun at myself, my wife and my kids, but I’m feeling quite warm and fuzzy today, thanks in part to what was a memorable Christmas weekend.
Although it was an incredibly special holiday this year, it was equally exhausting.
Over the last couple weeks, the excitement of Christmas has been building and it reached its apex last weekend with Santa’s arrival.
Although Carson showed obvious signs as well, Beckett, 3 ½, was incredibly amped for Christmas this year. It reached the manic level on Christmas Eve.
This was certainly the most excited the kid has been for Christmas, and I presume it will only build from here.
Throughout these fits of excitement, we, like many parents, strive to continuously remind our kids why we celebrate Christmas, and Beckett has become quite adept at reciting the highlights of the story, including references to “cute little Baby Jesus,” Mary and Joseph, the wisemen, the manger and Bethlehem.
However, there’s no disputing Christmas is more about the gifts and Santa Claus and the typical mainstream traditions.
That’s why on Christmas Eve it was such a bear to get him to fall asleep.
It took me about 45 minutes and countless trips up and down the stairs to his room to calm him down enough to go to bed.
He was fascinated and obsessed over the particulars of Santa’s visit to our house, such as how he would fit down the chimney, whether he takes his hat off before coming down the chimney, if he can drink milk or whether he is like his younger brother Carson and has a dairy allergy.
He also wondered how Santa had managed to drop his gift-wrapped pajamas on the front lawn while we were at his Mom Mom’s house on Christmas Eve. I, too, was interested in how that happened.
Other inquiries included an interest in what Rudolph and the other reindeer do while Santa is inside the house (eating the reindeer food in yard I told him, of course); what happened if Santa became stuck in the chimney (it never happens I said); whether Santa would wanted some other food besides cookies (he’s too busy to eat anything overly time consuming was my response); and if Santa delivers gifts to kids in China and Pocomoke (of course, I said).
It was a hilarious and memorable conversation for sure, but one that was quite time consuming on Christmas Eve, a busy night for parents of young kids typically.
I so identified with him on this night because I, too, was a bit of a mess on Christmas Eve when I was his age.
I can remember having butterflies in my stomach the night before when I was younger, due to the curiosity and anxiousness associated with the big morning.
Actually, I still have them now, but for different reasons.
Fortunately, Beckett finally fell asleep after I made some bold predictions about what would happen if he did not fall asleep. It involved something about the naughty list and it not being too late to let Santa know.
On Christmas Day, Pam was the first to rise, shortly after 5 in the morning. I soon followed suit, but we were surprised by the fact our kids were not quick to wake up that morning.
Judging by the difficulties I had in getting Beckett to sleep the night before, I figured he might not make it through the night. To my surprise, he did.
That’s not to say they slept in by any means, though, as they were both up by 7 a.m.
When I walked in Beckett’s room that morning, he quickly remembered it was Christmas and the first thing he asked was, “Did Santa like his cookies and milk?”
He threw out some other questions about where Santa, Donner and Blitzen were at that time as well as Doodle the Elf.
To my surprise, Beckett was a little hesitant to come downstairs at first, but when all his questions were exhausted he became quite excited to start the day, and the excitement never stopped from that point on for both kids. It’s still running pretty high today, as a matter of fact.
Christmas morning is an unbelievably special time, and I cherish the experience and the memories associated with it.
That’s why I shot about 45 minutes of video on Christmas morning, oftentimes just letting the camera run because you just never know what’s going to happen. The random comments and excited looks were priceless.
For Beckett, the most popular gift this year was a motorcycle. It’s a battery-powered trike that came with sunglasses, a helmet and a Harley-Davidson leather jacket. He was quite the sight on it, sporting the black leather coat, the reflective sunglasses, helmet and Frosty the Snowman pajama bottoms. He even likes to bob his head up and down to the music it plays.
For Carson, the top gift of the year seemed to be the train table. He likes to pull apart the train tracks, toss them across the room and then climb on the table. That and a few large boxes would have been enough for him, as evidenced by the fact he hadn’t opened all his gifts by lunchtime on Christmas Day.
It was a special weekend for our family and I hope it was for yours as well.