This is the year that it truly dawned on me that for my kids, the anticipation of Christmas far exceeds anything that will be opened on Christmas Day.
The activities and family fun leading to the big day is what it is all about.
Kind of like Halloween, they love the idea of dressing up and going door to door, seeing how much candy they can collect, but by the next day they could really care two craps about the pumpkin bucket full of candy.
So though opening presents on Christmas morning is exciting and fun, in the end it can be the five dollar Barbie in only a bikini, and a new bag of socks under the tree and the girls will have had a great Christmas season. Why?
Because we spent a day making Christmas cookies together, or built a gingerbread house, maybe we put up the tree and decorated it with all the ornaments and then found the pickle, or they got to stay up late watching Christmas movies and drinking hot chocolate, we could have spent the evening driving around town looking at all the pretty lights.
It is also the fun tradition of an elf that comes alive at night and moves around the house. The funniest thing to see is how gullible the girls are about it. They never once question if mom or dad were the ones to move Snowflake the Elf– Oh no, it was the elf and she is magical. Then there is the big guy, good ole’ Santa Claus. In our house he brings them one gift and the rest are from mom, dad and family. So you would think they would make it count but it is comical on how modest they are when sitting on his lap. Last year my oldest asked for Connect Four, you know, the five dollar kid game? I would have to say that at least with this mentality, they will never be disappointed with what Santa delivers ;p
I went off on a tangent there, but you get the gist of it.
I am finally learning this year to not stress about getting them the perfect toy that they probably did not even know existed. Instead, I am going to take more time and patience doing all the activities leading up to Christmas and continue to appreciate the time spent with my family than worrying about what to get them for Christmas. I know my kids, I could give them the most sought after toy of the year and after Christmas morning it will just be piled up with all the rest of the barely played with toys in the toy chest. These times are only going to get better as Max grows up and plays along.