Christmas is for the memories. Christmas is for the anticipation. Christmas, at least when you’re the parent of two year olds, is not for the day, itself.
On Christmas Eve, I excitedly brought down my horribly wrapped presents and placed them carefully under the tree in the most eye-pleasing manner I could manage. I stepped back to view my work, envisioning the happy day that was surely awaiting us.
We would wake up to joyous proclamations of Santa! and presents! Carlos and I would come sleepily downstairs and fix some tea and toast while the babies unstuffed their stockings with care and precision, examining each calmly to get maximum enjoyment before moving onto the next.
Then we’d teach them how to tear the paper from their gifts under the tree, and they’d take turns coming up to us and showing us their new treasures. They’d play with each before arranging them neatly in a corner and fetching their next present. We’d put the paper in the bin right away, keeping things neat as we went along. The day would be a utopia of calm peace and happiness. What could go wrong?
Wait, what’s that? Tears on Christmas? Amid piles of presents strewn carelessly about as the grubby paws reach for more, more, more, and quickly! It cannot be. Yesterday, they were perfectly satisfied with the toys they already owned. A new toy should bring nothing but ecstasy! Somehow, my twins managed to be more discontent as they donned their new Dora watches and necklaces than they were before Santa ever visited.
My husband frazzled and stressed, trying to get the new Christmas coffee maker to make us a few cups, while batting off babies left and right. Each child clamoring for this to be opened and that to be put on. I finally made us a pot of coffee using the old coffee maker. It wasn’t enough.
My dreams were dashed. We were on a tight schedule, needing to leave in a few hours to pick up my car. Paper was strewn, fights were had, screams filled the apartment.
“Don’t hit your sister! We bought two of those. Where is yours?”
This is the Christmas I looked forward to?
Another naive first-time mom mistake.
Thankfully, Christmas is also for memories, and even now, just days after the big day, my mind is erasing the bad, hanging onto the good, and memorializing the babies’ first cognizant Christmas as a calm, fun-filled day of peace and happiness.
Merry Christmas to all.
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