As a kid growing up my sister, brothers, and I had two distinct traditions on Christmas eve night and Christmas morning. On Christmas Eve all of us-no matter how old we were slept in one room. We would pull a bed into the room of my eldest brother and all squeeze and cuddle throughout the night. On Christmas morning we all would wake up before the sun. Stinky breath, eye boogers (you know what I’m talking about) 😉 and all, we would run downstairs in amazement each and every single year; surprised and grateful at what Santa decided to bring us. I don’t ever remember feeling let down or disappointed not once, not in the whole 17/18 years we celebrated in my mother’s house that way. It was always the best. And as an adult, I am so proud of how good my mother was at keeping such a HUGE surprise from her five kids and making us all so very happy.
This year with River a bit older, more understanding, and definitely more interested in tearing at paper, I was eager to follow along in my beautiful mother’s footsteps. Up until Christmas I hid all of her presents under our bed, in my closet, or on our dressers in black bags…whatever I could do. That was only half the fun. On Christmas Eve night, Peter and I both bathed River, told her Santa was on his way and let her put out some sugar cookies and a glass of milk for the jolly ol’ man. She said goodnight to our Christmas tree that stayed lit all night, and fell asleep quickly and soundly in her big girl bed. Peter and I did our elf like work and went to wrapping immediately. We talked about our separate Christmas traditions growing up as kids, the excitement we both had about swapping gifts and about our excitement and anticipation of seeing River Mae’s face in the morning. We were finished at 2am. Just in time for some ice cream and a short movie. A new tradition of our very own.
She woke up at 8 am on the dot and I, like the little girl I tend to be about Christmas, jumped right out of bed. Peter was right behind me with a camera in hand and ready to capture our little girls face.
It was perfect. Just as I had imagined, the paper was much more exciting, and the littlest things like a tiny Walgreens car and a new pen were a big hit. The shopping cart did not disappoint either.
Later that day, after coffee, record spinning on my new record play (thanks husband) and cuddles, we headed over to my mother’s house where we had our second Christmas. There, under one roof, my three brothers, my sister, their kids, their significant others, my mother, my baby girl, and my guy all had the Christmas my heart… my inner child longed for. One in which, there were smiles from ear to ear, present after present being ripped opened in excitement, and tears of joy throughout. We all had not spent a Christmas under one roof for three… maybe four years. So if I had to be all sentimental-like we know I truly am- I’d have to say that was hands down the best present ever!
I hope you all had a magical Christmas too! We are in Maryland having a third Christmas with Peter’s large family. Aren’t we the spoiled bunch this year?!