Friday, December 24, 2010

Oh Holy Night

The kids are snuggled into their sleeping bags on the downstairs den floor. The Christmas tree is decorated upstairs in the family room, waiting for Santa to arrive and bless these "well deserving kids" (they think) with "copious presents" (they hope). They're keeping with the tradition I had with my brothers and sisters when I was growing up.......all sleeping in the same room on Christmas Eve night.

I'd like to say it's because they all want to be together during this very wonderful time. But the reality is that they don't trust each other. The whole family is supposed to see the Christmas tree and all the Christmas bounty at the same time on Christmas morning (another family tradition is to have some of the presents wrapped and some just laying out because Santa doesn't wrap presents- he just doesn't have the time). The children are to wait until a half way normal hour (the translates to some time after 6 am) and come into our bedroom to wake the mountain boy and me. Then everyone is to causally saunter down the hallway (at a break neck speed) to the family room where all can experience the shock and awe of Christmas at the same time.......Everyone. Together. At the same time.

But the kids don't trust each other.
Each one is afraid that the other will sneak up and tippy-toe up to the living room to see the cornucopia of gifts and therefore "know" before the rest ("know" as in "I-know-what-you-got-before-you-know-what-you-got"). So they sleep in the same room on Christmas Eve: trying not to get caught sleeping, watching each other with tired, blood-shot eyes, straining to hear a stray tippy-toe.
Keeping each other honest.

What else are families for?

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