Then as an adult, when our kids were young, my wife and I would make sure they were asleep on Christmas Eve before making multiple trips up and down the stairs to gather all their presents and put them under the tree, hoping we could get a good night’s rest. We were a little tougher on our kids, not letting them tear into the presents right away. On Christmas morning, we (mostly my wife, Kathy) made them take turns opening their gifts so each present and each kids’ reaction were more appreciated. After a couple of Christmases like that, they cooperated nicely.
I can’t wait to see our six year old and one year old granddaughters, and our two year old grandson opening gifts at our house. The look of excitement on the faces of little children as they rip open presents is one of life’s true joys! And yes, we ask that they take turns but, hey, they're little. Then after all gifts are open, the kids play in the boxes! On that basis, I was always good for numerous cheap presents thinking the kids don't know the difference under five years old and the act of tearing off wrapping paper was the true joy!
However, Christmas season is not just for children, it’s for families! It’s a reason to be together, to make new memories, to love and be loved, and to get to know each other just a little more. That’s what it is supposed to be like…and it is for most of us. But Christmas can also intensify whatever troubles there may be within a family.
If a member of the family, who you miss very much, is not with you on Christmas--you miss them more than ever. If there is turmoil in a family, Christmas can help to relieve that turmoil, or make it worse. Yes, Christmas is a very tough time of year for many families. So I have progressed in my wishes for Christmas over the years.
- At six--a cowboy hat and a toy pistol/holster combo.
- At sixteen--a mustang convertible, red with a white top.
- At twenty six--a house of our own and kids.
- At thirty six--suffering for all my enemies.
- At forty six--World Peace!
- At fifty six—retirement!
So what do I really want for Christmas now that I have seen a few years? I want for other families what I am fortunate enough to already have. I want ALL families to be whole, with a mom and a dad, and throw in a few loving grandparents if possible. I want ALL kids to have good parents. I want ALL parents to have good kids with bright futures, who will become good parents themselves in a never-ending cycle of whole, mostly happy, productive families.
Hummm, sounds like I’m back to World Peace. Well, it never hurts to dream!
And while I’m dreaming, there is that vision of a black 5-Series BMW in the driveway with a big red bow on the roof :) Kathy?
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!