Well I contemplated writing a blog on Christmas. But I was just feeling too lazy to do it. We had an interesting sort of Christmas at our house. In many ways, it was the same celebration we always have, yet in so many other ways, it has begun to change.
First and foremost, this year it never did actually feel like Christmas to me. Even my daughter Virginia was saying the same thing all through Christmas day. I’m not sure exactly why, but it never “clicked”. Christmas morning I was wide awake at 5:00 am. I lay in bed contemplating going back to sleep or getting up. By 5:30 I couldn’t take laying there any longer. I got up, played on Facebook, made some coffee, and attempted to start a fire in the fireplace – but then my husband came out and told me the logs were too big. As he went to cut the wood into smaller pieces, I jumped into the shower, then did something I’ve never done before. I put pajamas back on. Of course they were clean pajamas, and not the ones I wore the night before, but they were pajamas nonetheless. Something inside my head at that moment simply declared it to be a pajama day. By then, my husband’s parents, who were in town for the holiday, were getting up and joining us for coffee. I couldn’t wait for the kids anymore. I may not have felt like Christmas, but I was still quite excited to give them their gifts. Actually I think I was more excited to give my husband his gift. I called the kids several times. No response. Finally, my husband went upstairs and this is what we heard.
Hubby: Get up, it’s Christmas
Klara: OOOOOOOO (insert high pitch squeal here)
And that was all it took. They were up. The kids didn’t receive the typical gifts this year, and at first they didn’t look like anything to get excited over at all. At ages 9 and 11, gone were the mountains of large wrapped boxes under the tree. Instead, this year consisted of dozens of small items. The quantity was there, but not the bulk. Part of the reason was that instead of purchasing new clothes for my growing-pickier-by-the-day preteen, I opted to get the girls gift cards so that they could pick out their own clothes. Another reason – a few choice gifts were quite pricey – everything else was just, well, “fluff”.
As weird as it may seem, I was excited about my gift to my husband. I got him Weather-Tech floor mats – the floor mats that are custom fitted to your specific vehicle. He had been asking for floor mats for a few years. Then, just a month ago, I was in his car and mentioned how filthy the carpeting had gotten. He pointed out that it was because no one had given him floor mats. Light bulb! I immediately went online and purchased the mats for his car. While on the website, I looked at the ones for my car as well. I wanted them. Yes, I am starting to turn into the person that actually cares about the interior of their car. I found the specific mats for my car and added them to my Amazon.com wishlist. I may not be able to purchase them right now, but I will someday. So as the kids plowed through all their “fluff”, I gave my husband his gift. He gave me mine – a box that was very similar in size to the one I gave him. I immediately wondered, did I get my floor mats too?!! Sure enough! He had gotten me my floor mats. It was hysterical, but we were both quite pleased – well at least I know I was.
My youngest, Klara, received her present of choice – an iPod touch. She screamed in delight, and instantly all other gifts didn’t matter any longer. I figured that would happen. Now she no longer had to borrow her sister’s for entertainment. Virginia, although she is only 11, is turning into a teenager faster than the years will let her. Her interest in toys is gone. She seemed somewhat happy when she received her new hair curling iron, her iPod touch speaker dock, and her first few makeup accessories, but she has reached the age where Christmas has begun to lose its thrill. I remember feeling the exact same way when I was 11. That year I received very few gifts – or at least they seemed that way because they were all small (hmm, seems familiar). I am sure my feelings were torn between still being a child and no longer being a child; wanting to receive gifts, but not knowing what it was I wanted to receive. She appeared to be going through the same thing. I felt sad for her. I didn’t want her to remember this Christmas for the same reasons I remembered Christmas at age 11 – disappointment. When all the presents were opened, I asked the girls if they got everything they wanted. Klara was thrilled and replied, “Yes.” Virginia replied with a happy, but quiet, “Almost”. I went to my bedroom and brought out one more box and handed it to her. Then I asked her, “Are you sure you didn’t get everything you wanted?” She started beaming. She had been asking for a laptop for months. I told her I would get her one at Christmas if she brought her grades up to a B average (she has been struggling this year). She brought her grades up, but they weren’t all quite up to a B average. She was told she would have a second shot for her birthday in February, if she could do it by then. But, like I said, she had brought her grades up, and I was determined to keep her Christmas from being the let down I had at age 11. I had succeeded with a netbook.
The rest of the day still never did get to the point of feeling like Christmas. My awesome friend Tina came over and brought me coffee from Starbucks. She joined us as we sat down for an early dinner. After dinner, Tina left and I proceeded to play a board game with the girls. The rest of the day the kids were quieter than they had ever been – one child on her iPod touch, the other child on her netbook. There was an odd feeling in the house; but peaceful. I spent the remainder of the day with the family watching TV and playing on the computer. I took my first Christmas Day nap (at least the first since I was a baby myself), and I never got out of my pajamas. Christmas definitely felt different at our house this year. Sadly, as the girls get older, I think the change is permanent.