Tomorrow morning my children will bounce down stairs in their adorable pajamas and run to the perfectly decorated Christmas tree to see the amazing gifts Santa brought. Their eyes will be as big as saucers, and their hearts will race with excitement as they patiently await their turn to open a gift. My husband and I will hear squeals of delight after each perfectly wrapped gift opened, and our children will throw their arms around us to tell us we are the best parents in the whole wide world.
Okay, that might be a stretch of what Christmas actually looks like, but it is still my dream.
Christmas is every kid’s Super Bowl. And for those parents like me who love the holiday and want it to be picture-perfect, it is a Top 10 day of every year for sure. A lot of planning, strategizing, logistics, and good old fashioned luck go into making this one day special.
For some really organized folks, it’s always Christmas shopping season. They pick up gifts throughout the year and stash them away. Not me. Thanksgiving marks the beginning of my Christmas Spectacular. I pour through the ads, camp out in lines, score great deals, and then forget about Christmas all together until about Dec. 22.
With three days to Christmas, I frantically make a list of what I’ve bought, and what still needs to be purchased. I fight traffic, long lines, and hundreds of people who have little to no Christmas spirit to try to even out the gift list.
When we hit the final countdown and my darlings are asleep with visions of sugar-plums dancing in their heads, my husband and I will begin assembling toys and wrapping gifts. At some point, I will realize I have enough wrapping paper to wrap Columbia, but not enough boxes for all the new sweaters.
As we attempt to assemble the new toys whose directions were written in French by someone in China, language that would make baby Jesus cry will fill the air. Like ninjas, we will silently place gifts under the tree and collapse into our bed hoping for a couple hours of sleep before the children awake.
Their breath will reek of popcorn, hot cocoa, and sleep and their hair will stand on end. There will be many thank yous, some clouded in disappointment, others sincere and prompted by Mom. There will be scoldings for not waiting turns, and time-outs for an emergency potty break.
And then it comes down to one thing – one little thing. If I am lucky enough to remember to charge my camera battery, there may even be photographic evidence of yet another Christmas miracle.
Cat Koehler is married with two children. She works full time. Read her Mondays on momaha.com
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