Sunday, December 26, 2010

The un-Kodak Christmas morning

After that, Biff and I began our gift wrap challenge.That was when it became apparent that our exhaustion was slowing us down. We could not remember what the remaining gifts were...or where they were. After some scrambling, We found some of the missing pieces to the puzzle of our brains.

While wrapping, we watched Christmas mass on television...then a movie. Not a Christmas movie...we had already overdone some of those. Mr. Holland's Opus...a favorite and a long one. Just before the movie wrapped up, when we knew we could not continue any longer, we abandoned the ending and trundled up the stairs....only to find Grace still awake.

After staying up til about 3:30 A.M., Biff and I had wrapped ourselves into a state of exhaustion. Grace and T.J. had been slow to go off to bed so that we could wrap in peace. Biff went off after midnight to collect the skis and snowboard, the Christmas gift that Grace and T.J. knew about....since they had to be there to help select and fit. BUT they did not know that the skishop had them ready with the fitted bindings. We knew it would be a challenge to keep that surprise from the moment Biff began backing down the driveway. Although he kept his lights off and rolled down in neutral, it was the gravel driveway that did him in.

First, the phone call from Grace. Next, the text from at.T.J. "Where are you going" said one and read the other. No secrets here.  Biff dodged the question. About a half hour later, Biff walked in the door struggling with all of the new gear after parking around the corner at the head of a neighbor's driveway, trudging through the woods to keep out of sight and earshot of our eager children, now 14 and almost 16years old. After settling the skis and snowboard and ski poles under the tree he bid adieu so that he could move the car to the end of our street, walked up our neighbors' driveway and pushed his way through more woodsy brambles to get home. And that was just after midnight. Then, the wrapping games began. The stocking stuffers and little gifts that were still, to our knowledge, a surprise.

It was 1:00 A.M. when Grace arrived downstairs to wrap her presents for Biff and T.J. A surprise to us that she was awake. Frustrated, I told her to stay away and wrap somewhere else and get upstairs to bed. OH, she was curious as to her dad's whereabouts. Although he was quiet in the family room, we wanted to keep the information to a minimum and discourage any further questioning.

With only a few hours sleep, we heard T.J. at our bedside. It was 6 A.M. He was ready to let the reindeer games begin. We pleaded with him to give us a bit more sleep. He complied. 45 minutes he was back. Then he attempted to wake Grace. She was most bothered due to severe lack of sleep.....which caused the "Silent Night" Christmas moment to quickly resemble"Shout from the Highest Mountain!" Christmas. Ahhhh..."Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men"....hardly.

Finally, Biff and I began down the stairs with very little "Joy To The World" to be heard. We made coffee. We waited for the "all is calm, all is bright" din in our home. That's when we invited our sweet little angels down the stairs....with only one demand.... to start our Christmas over.  Then and only then could Christmas begin. It was wonderful. We all napped during the day. Life was good. We got our gear together, put on warm clothes and left to ski. We skied together. We all rode the double lifts which allowed us all a variety of one on one Christmas talk. Racing down the mountain we had no shouting from the highest. chairlift.....only calling to each other as we followed the trails.

We all laughed about ourselves on our short drive home. We were all apologetic for our  sleep deprived selves. It was a wonderful Christmas...we have been truly blessed   Biff and I are also thankful  for our sense of humor and ability to laugh at ourselves. We are especially thankful that we have shared that with our that they may be relieved with humor too. We are thankful and we are all grateful for our family....the ones who know us best and love us anyway! Thankfully.

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