I wrote this on Christmas Day 2008. My husband was deployed then and my daughter was a newborn. Things didn’t go as smoothly as I’d hoped, but it all turned out well in the end. I’m posting it again this year because, with my husband home to help and me pregnant and, thus, not likely to dip into the Schnapps, this Christmas will (fingers crossed!) probably be easier to handle.
Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!
A Christmas Chronology – Posted December 25, 2008
8 p.m. – Bathe the kids and start getting them ready for bed. Tell my son that he needs to hurry because he has to be in bed before Santa gets to our house, otherwise Santa won’t leave him any presents. My son asks where Santa is now so we pull up the NORAD Santa tracker online. I gasp and tell him that Santa is already in South America and we’ve got to move quickly because North America is next. He runs upstairs to his room and jumps into bed. I follow him and ask what book he’d like to read. (Normally he wants to read five or six each night.) “No books, Mommy. Santa will be here soon.” Okay, I say, then let’s just say prayers. “We gotta pray fast, Mommy.” We race through “Now I lay me down to sleep” and it’s lights out. I don’t hear a peep from him for the rest of the night.
9:30 p.m. – Feed the baby and try to coax her into sleeping.
10:30 p.m. – She’s finally asleep. I put her to bed and crank up the waterfall sounds really loud so that any noise I make won’t disturb her.
11 p.m. – Turn my attention to Santa duties. Go to the basement to retrieve presents and congratulate myself on picking out such awesome toys. “I am the coolest mom ever!” I say to myself.
11:15 p.m. – Buy “Fred Claus” to watch from On Demand and set up all the gift wrapping supplies. Decide that gift wrapping will be much more fun with Peppermint Schnapps. Pour myself a shot, thinking, “Schnapps are so festive!”
12:00 a.m. – Gifts are wrapped and under the tree. “Fred Claus” is a funny movie. Schanapps are making me feel great. My husband calls, so I pause the movie to talk to him.
12:30 a.m. – Decide that I might as well make some breakfast casseroles so that I won’t have to cook much in the morning. Assemble the ingredients, mix it all up and put the casseroles in the refrigerator.
1 a.m. – Sit back down to finish watching “Fred Claus”. Decide to have more Schnapps.
2 a.m. – Put the video camera battery on the charger and go to bed. Miraculously, neither child has stirred.
7 a.m. – I am the first one up. I think I’m more excited than my son. I know I’m more excited than the baby. I wake up the baby and feed her.
7:30 a.m. – Make coffee, put the casseroles in the oven and go to wake up my son. I can’t believe he is still sleeping. “He definitely won’t sleep in next year,” I say to myself. I take the video camera and film him as he wakes up, stumbles down the stairs and sees all the presents. His eyes bug out and he is adorable.
7:35 a.m. – The camera stops recording. Apparently I have run out of tape and have no idea if we have any more tapes. I grab my cell phone instead and use it to take pictures. Curse myself for not knowing how to use the video function on the phone.
7:45 a.m. – Gift opening is over. My husband calls and my son tells him all about the toys. Casseroles are cooked and out of the oven. My son won’t eat them. He doesn’t know what a casserole is and pronounces all casseroles “yucky”. Decide to turn on the Yule Log channel for festive holiday background music. For some reason the Yule Log channel isn’t working, so I start trying to assemble the super cool robot Santa brought.
8:30 a.m. – Still trying to assemble the robot that Satan, I mean Santa, brought.
9 a.m. Robot is (finally!) put together. Flip the on switch and realize that it doesn’t have batteries. Have to disassemble it to install the batteries. It requires seven (!) batteries. I don’t have seven new batteries so I take the batteries out of the camera and all the remote controls. Stupid robot still doesn’t work. I am starting to cuss now, quietly.
9:15 a.m. Give up on the robot. Turn my attention to the really cute penguin toy. The penguins are supposed to climb a staircase and then slide down a luge that ends at the bottom of the stairs. The slide is a major pain to put together. Quickly realize that I need a “D” battery. Don’t have a “D” battery. My son is dejected. Kids aren’t supposed to be dejected on Christmas. I remember that the baby swing has “D” batteries. Now where is that stupid tiny screwdriver?
9:30 a.m. I’m in the basement digging through the toolbox. Finally find the screwdriver. Voila! The penguin toy works. It is adorable! But it makes a continuous chirping noise. Think to myself that that noise might get annoying after awhile.
9:45 a.m. Trying to build a really cool marble race with the awesome (and intelligence enhancing) wood block marble race set.
9:55 a.m. Have built an amazing marble race for my son. Can’t wait for him to try it.
9:56 a.m. Marble race blocks are scattered all over the room and marbles are everywhere. My son thought it would be more fun to destroy the structure I’d built than to race marbles down it. Not sure what this says about his intelligence or if the marble race can help him.
9:59 a.m. I hate the robot. I hate the marble race. And I would really like to go back to the basement to get the hammer so I can smash the penguin toy to make it shut up.
10 a.m. The caffeine from the coffee is wearing off and the sugar from the French Toast casserole is wearing off. I am experiencing a caffeine crash and sugar low at the same time. My son goes to the bathroom and comes back without pants or underwear on. Refuses to put on either for the rest of the morning. Says he wants to “Porky Pig it” — borrowing a phrase his father uses to describe wearing a shirt with no pants. I give up. Who says a kid has to wear bottoms at home, anyway?
10:30 a.m. The house is trashed. There are boxes, zip ties, and torn wrapping paper everywhere. The penguin toy works too well and the robot doesn’t work at all. My son tried to make the robot work and now there are robot pieces everywhere. The baby is (THANK GOD) asleep. Huge casseroles sit mostly untouched in the kitchen. I’m exhausted and really regretting the Schnapps.
10:35 a.m. My son gives me a big hug and a kiss and tells me this is the best Christmas ever. He says, “I’m so happy, Mommy.”
10:40 a.m. Lay on the couch, close my eyes, smile and think to myself that Christmas is awesome. What a great day. I can’t wait to do it all again next year.