The kids were awake at 6:00 AM ... a mere 3.5 hours after I went to bed and they immediately recognized that Santa had made a rather large gift deposit in their room. Despite my plans to wake up, shower and dress before them ... I felt like a newborn puppy, unable to open my eyes, only listening to the excitement around me. Interestingly enough, there wasn't much screaming among the children because I think everyone was shell shocked that Santa would actually bring them baby guinea pigs. Are they real? Are we sleeping??
Is this a dream?!
After much cajoling, I finally climbed out of our bed, stumbled in to the girls room, and crashed directly in to their bed, where I remained until nearly 8:30 AM. While I would have liked for them to open their boxes of vegetables beneath the tree BEFORE they realized that there were two baby guinea pigs in their care ... in retrospect, it was rather convenient that Santa put the guinea pigs in their room, because that's where they were content to spend all of Christmas morning. And I was perfectly content to stay there ... in their bed ... slipping in and out of consciousness while Charlie spent several hours trying to make cinnamon rolls from scratch. Once my husband had finished his culinary masterpiece, our children said, "Dad? We think we like the kind of cinnamon rolls that come in the cardboard tube that you smack against the counter better."
You know, the kind that take five minutes to prepare as opposed to five hours?
When I finally roused from my abbreviated slumber, the kids did a swan dive in to their presents and were ripping through them so fast and furiously and opening presents that weren't even addressed to them, that within less than three minutes, I called a HALT to their operations and suspended all Christmas present opening until later in the day when our family arrived. And then I talked to the children about the importance of giving, not receiving, and whose birthday was it that we were celebrating ... anyway?
In the midst of my itty bitty don't be greedy freak out session, William lost his second front tooth and sweetly launched in to, "All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth."
And then, within the hour, my sister Eileen and 5/7 of her beautiful family from Michigan arrived. We ate. (So proud of my son for sampling the sweet potatoes - - on his own volition!)
We uh, held guinea pigs while we ate and drank.
We were incredibly Merry.
And just before bedtime ... once children were in their pajamas with teeth brushed, we opened the rest of our presents.
The Spirit was alive in all of us.
And as a result, Christmas was everything that Christmas is supposed to be.