We almost cancelled Christmas this year. We all went to church on Christmas Eve, and Alex (once again) proved unable to sit still or listen. When he started hitting me because I picked him up from his sprawled position in front of the pews, I carried him home before mass was over and told him, “OK, that’s it. I’m telling Santa not to come.” He cried the whole way home, begging me to bring him back to church, but I didn’t do it.
Molly – who was more mad than I was about Alex’s pattern of bad behavior at church – had the job of putting Alex to bed on Christmas Eve. He was inconsolable. It surprised me when she told me that she relented. She told Alex as she put him to bed, “I’ll talk to Santa and see if he’ll come.” Alex’s parting words, as he drifted off to sleep: “Tell Santa I have a Santa hat.” I find it funny that he thinks that makes a difference in Santa’s bookkeeping. Little Susie – nice. Little Alex – naughty. Oh, but he dresses like me… well, okay.
This is what our living room looked like at 11:00PM on Christmas Eve. Notice how nicely wrapped everything still is. There’s no paper strewn about, no small toys underfoot to trip the unwary. And also note we had one toy unwrapped, set up, and ready for use. The original motivation was laziness – it would have been very hard to wrap this train set. But our laziness brought another benefit, as you can see from this scene from 5:45 the next morning:
Yes, our oldest son decided that 5:45 was the about the right time to wake up on Christmas morning. Because we had one present already unwrapped and ready to play with, Molly and Patrick got to sleep until 7:00.
The overindulgent spectacle of Christmas was lost on Patrick. Molly bought him a toy broom and dustpan, and surprisingly that’s all he seemed to want. He wandered around Christmas morning carrying the broom, and we couldn’t coax him into opening more presents. Because he’s such a team player, Alex stepped up to the plate and opened Patrick’s presents for him. Alex has done a great job playing with Patrick’s presents, too!
The rest of Christmas day was uneventful. Molly and I had a lovely Christmas dinner of duck, after the kids were peacefully asleep. Although the kids missed out on our two-person Christmas feast, we did let them indulge in a special dessert of meringues, peppermint ice cream, and chocolate sauce. Well, Patrick just had the ice cream:
…whereas Alex over-enthusiastically ate the whole concoction.
I hope everybody had a Merry Christmas!