Hooray, it’s Christmas Eve!
I can hardly believe that the hourly countdown has begun. The kids have already started asking me for updates as to how long they have to wait until Santa will arrive. It’s been what has seemed like a long time coming but the big day is finally within our reach!
I remember as a kid looking forward to Christmas Eve almost as much as Christmas morning itself. In our family, the night before Christmas has traditionally been celebrated in a big way. There was always what seemed like a never-ending dinner, the unavoidable clean-upof the dishes while us kids (not s0) nonchalantly hung out in the kitchen waiting for the last plate to go in the dishwasher. We’d think we were free and clear and then be told that coffee had to be brewed, because how else would the adults survive through our gift-opening extravaganza without caffeine pouring through their veins? We’d sit by the tree, not so patiently, our presents having been scouted our hours prior, and wait until we finally got the go-ahead.
This waiting was so vivid in my memory that I remember swearing I would not put my future kids through the torment. I would be the kind of parent who allowed the gifts to be opened first thing. Forget about dinner! Forget about clean-up (gasp!), and definitely forget about coffee!
Well, I lied. I have become one of those parents. And you want to know the honest truth? I think my parents made us wait for very selfish reasons. I have learned, as my own version of a grownup, that life goes by way too quickly. Life will pass by at warp speed if you don’t take time and slow down the things you have control over. Like Christmas Eve. I am utterly convinced that the evening was slowed to a snail’s crawl on purpose. My parents, much like my adult self, wanted to preserve the evening. They wanted to take the time to enjoy every aspect of that night and the following morning, knowing that in a nanosecond it would all be over. Until the next year.
So, this evening, selfishly,I will be putting my kids through torture. On purpose.I willtaketime getting through dinner, clean up the kitchen over a glass of wine, brew the coffee (because my parents were right, caffeinated veins cope with chaosmore effectively)and then, just then, we will be ready to open the presents.
So, friends,a word of advice. If you are of the Christmas-celebrating variety than I beseech you, take a step back and enjoy the festivities tonight. Torture your kids and test their patience. It’s become a time-honored tradition in my family, and as an adult with my own children, one that has become evermoreimportant to me.
Merry Christmas Eve, Mindy