I’m not one of those parents that records holidays on a camcorder for future viewing. In fact I’m not sure I have more than one video from Christmas morning. I don’t record holidays partly because I think that watching the kids open presents is not going to be so entertaining some day and partly because I want to live in those moments while they are happening. Even if I was recording our Christmas festivities, I probably would have missed my favorite moments. These are the things that I will remember about this Christmas:
– The look on J’s face when Santa walked in after Communion during Christmas Eve Mass. Santa walked in at the back of church and without a sound (except the gasps from the children) walked up to the nativity scene and knelt to pray. He then stood, waved to us all and left through a side door. J started pointing and gesturing towards the door, I thought he was just excited. Then he said, “Mom! Can I go outside? His sleigh is probably parked right THERE!!”
– My three year old niece so eagerly and yet patiently waiting her turn to open presents. We took turns opening and after you opened a gift, you got to pick the next person to open. Each and every time she made sure we knew it was time to pick and sat there almost bursting at the seams hoping we’d pick her!
– J checking the Santa watch online approx every hour to see where in the world Santa was. As soon as he got close to North America, J started insisting that everyone go to bed immediately!
– The look of complete shock on the face of our oldest when she saw the present she secretly had been wishing for but didn’t even dare to request.
– The slow pace that only comes on Christmas day. Building legos with J. Playing E’s new game – which was so fun, we adults played it for hours after she went to bed. Watching my one year old niece give ‘kisses’ to the stuffed reindeer.
– When my oldest was just three years old, she had a mistaken version of the song Santa Claus is Coming to Town (which coincidentally I have on video). Her version went like this:
You better watch out, You better not cry, You better not poop, I’m telling you why. My brother & his wife taught their 3yo to sing it the same way. She knows it’s a joke, but the whole thing is still so funny.
– I almost forgot to have the kids put out cookies for Santa. About 90 seconds after I tucked them all in on Christmas Eve I remembered and ran upstairs to get them out of bed. Once the surprise and excitement wore off the girls noted that I had interrupted their prayers. Prayers on Christmas Eve – those are the perfect last thoughts they should have before falling asleep.
Yes, Christmas is done but I’m still going to try and hang on to some Christmas spirit and sentiment for a little while longer. I’ll leave the decorations up for a few more days. I’ll try to keep everyone at a slower pace. And I’ll try to spend a moment or two remembering this Christmas blessing: Emmanuel – God is with us.