Someone got a computer for her 12th birthday so I suspect we’ll be seeing more of these.
This year has been a wonderful one – there’s simply no other way to look at our family still having my wife to keep us company around the Christmas buffet tomorrow.
Tracey ended up at the hospital again today and we were worried we might have to take the presents in there for the big Christmas morning gift unveiling after all, but it turns out her drains had simply blocked. Even that in itself is wonderful, because the reason they’ve blocked is the output is so minimal. Isn’t that an awesome Christmas gift right there? Tracey needed some plumbing work and now all is sweet for a stupid o’clock wake up from the kids.
I just marched the troops off to their rooms, carrying Miss3 into the double bed she’s sharing with her sister, Miss5. Giggles come easily on Christmas Eve because everyone’s so excited and primed for the next day’s excitement.
“Which side of the bed do you want to sleep on tonight?” I asked Miss3. “This side or that side.”
“The backside!” she shouted.
I can still hear them giggling in there about it.
This year the lead up to the big guy making his deliveries has had some memorable moments, like when I asked Miss12 about her take on Santa. She’s always kept things a little close to her chest, unlike Master10 and Miss8 who both came at me with questions this year because they’d worked ‘it’ out. The truth about Santa, like the truth about sex, is a conversation which I think the kids need to broach with us when they’re ready. As always, the time to tell them the answers is when they’re asking the questions. Although Miss8 is insisting that if she asks me any ‘is Santa real’ related questions again, I’m to lie and say he’s the genuine, sleigh-riding, elf-managing, letter-reading, wish-granting, chimney-climbing article.
Naturally, this doesn’t stop Miss8 winking like a dodgy lightbulb when Santa comes up around her little sisters.
So when Miss12 and I were alone in the car this morning and she started talking about Santa (and essentially the difficulties with the physics and time line of his delivery system) in much the same way a buzzard approaches a wounded cow – by circling lazily, if singularly, around the topic – I decided to do some digging.
“What do you know about Santa?” I asked.
“Well, he’s really old,” she told me, gazing out the window in an effort not to meet my eye. “He’s been around a long time.”
“And what do you make of that?”
“He’s probably too old,” she said.
“Too old for what?” I pressed.
There was a pause while she fixed her attention on an advertisement for a musical on the side of a bus.
“To be delivering the presents to us,” she said finally, her tone giving the impression I’d somehow tricked this information out of her. Then she turned and gave me the most exhausted and yet sarcastic look I’ve ever seen on her. I know it was a mixture of exhaustion and sarcasm because I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen it on Tracey many, many times. “I know ‘the truth’ but I don’t want to talk about it,” my daughter said.
“Okay,” I said.
Then she sighed and went on anyway without being asked. Coincidentally, I’ve also seen her Mum do this.
“I’m not silly, you know,” she continued. “He’d be the oldest person alive by now. I mean, Santa was in the Bible and everything.”
A bit like saying you Captain Picard is your favourite Jedi – both are equally grin worthy.
And don’t we all need that at this time of year? Christmas can of course be an extremely stressful, with some people wanting it to be perfect and some people seemingly wanting to ruin it.
For me, and I’m sure you, being surrounded by people I love is all I really need. That, and maybe some beer.
That last little sentence works best in a Winnie The Poo voice. Just sayin’.
Sadly, even in our small community, I know of several families who will be having the sort of Christmas I feared, so it’s impossible to be anything other than grateful for how things turned out for us. My thoughts are very much with these families even as we celebrate our own family’s very good fortune.
And I think our kids have learned something as well from all this turmoil, although they all show it in different ways.
“What do you want for Christmas more than anything else?” I asked Miss5 tonight.
“A hug,” she said.
Well, roast my nuts by an open fire and jingle them all the way if that’s not the sweetest Christmas present request ever.
Unlike Master10’s bedside chat.
“You know how I already know one thing I’m getting but you said there’s a couple more things I don’t know about?” he asked me tonight. I nodded. “Well don’t be mad, but if I only get three things I’m going to be really disappointed. Night!”
But then he also sobbed all the way home when we had to leave Tracey at the hospital today for a couple of hours because the last time she went in for a little thing she almost didn’t come back out. Different strokes.
And on that note…
Merry Christmas, everyone!
I truly hope your Christmas feels as miraculous and wonderful as ours. Stay safe, and keep it fun x
If you enjoyed this post please share, like or comment
“Raising a family on little more than laughs.”