"Aye, we hud a braw Christmas, but ahm happy it's all o'er and we can get back tae normal."
Her friend agreed enthusiastically. And I just couldn't for the life of me understand why.
I've always been a huge fan of Christmas. It's magic, it's excitement, it's anticipation, it's a break from the norm. I get so stifled by repetition and routine. I love something to come and break it up a bit. And Christmas is the perfect occasion for just that. Songs and baking and flashing lights and gifts and focusing on each other instead of the grind. I always suffer a bit of a let down and a major downer when it's all over and we have to dump the tree and sentence the bright decorations to a year of seclusion in an old box in the basement. It all just seems so sad.
As a young adult I looked forward to having my own family to share the excitement of Christmas with. When Kaya was a baby we spoiled her rotten and video taped every pain staking minute (of which there were many) of us trying to prompt her to show some interest in her gifts. She was 4 months old. There wasn't much interest shown. It took a long time to work through the items under our tree that year. The following year played out much the same.
When she was two, Rene and I wondered whether she really understood what was going on. Did she understand this Christmas thing? Surely she couldn't remember the previous years which she had been less than excited about. We weren't sure how much was just going over her head. Until Christmas Eve, when she spent an hour repeatedly jumping up and down on our bed yelling, "A KANGAWOO! A KANGAWOO!!" (her version of a cbeebies song). The girl was pee-your-pants excited. This was everything I had ever wanted. I loved it!
Check out that cutie.
Fast forward 7 years and here I am now, nearing the end of the week from the pit of heck. I have one almost toddler who is oblivious yet still picking up on the vibe in the air and reacting to it. He's extra clingy and extra excitable. And the rest of them? Are COMPLETELY out of WHACK! There has been non stop fighting, squabbling, hurt feelings, crying, questions about, "what if such and such (insert various creative random events) happens on Christmas Day?", broken dishes, yelling, grabbing, jumping on furniture, pulling down stockings, attacking Christmas trees, complaints of not doing this right or that fast enough, power struggles, chocolate messes, illegal previews of presents and upsets that follow and just on and on and on. The kids are WIRED.
I'm glad they're excited and everything. Truly I am. I hope they'll have a wonderful Christmas. And then....it will be over. And I am SO looking forward to that part!! I am exhausted from trying to keep the place decorated, keep a steady supply of Christmas treats and crafts, trying to keep peace and keep *some* semblance of order, staying up late to clean the disasters they've made and to wrap presents (which I'm SO behind on right now).
I'm a little ashamed of myself to admit that I am going to be super duper happy when it's all o'er and we can get back tae normal. Or....our version of normal anyway. *yawn*.