The days before Christmas were filled with anger and hate and rage. Despite the fact that I had given several reminders that Christmas is supposed to be a time to be thankful for who and what we have, and despite the fact that I told them that God, Jesus, and Santa are watching them, my children had already spent too much vacation time together in one area!!! They were not being thankful for each other.
By the weekend, I had my preteen boys taking naps daily, because they were screaming at the top of their lungs about just how much they hated one another, they were clobbering one another over the head, and annoying every ounce of their beings. I worked hard not to raise my own voice, and tried to limit the amount of time that they had to swish vinegar in their mouths, in an attempt to remind them that we dont talk nasty to one another……..Afterall, it was Christmas time, and I needed to lead by example. 🙂
We still managed to make Christmas cookies all night…after both boys napped, and after both girls scrubbed their snotty hands!! Each day, one of the kids has been sick….and the rest of the days, I have. Every year, as I watch them excitedly make cookies for the neighbors, I wonder how many germs get baked into them. Last year, a bug got baked into at least one of the cookies we gave to others, which I can only agree to chalk up to old flour. GERMS though….they are baked into EVERY cookie!
With 4 of them making 4 different things, and with me being the foreman over them, it is physically imposssible to keep up with all of their need for handwashing. Plus, when they enter the next room to decorate sugar cookies, all bets are off! Im certain they lick their fingers every time they touch the icing…or sprinkles…or decorative gels.
Then, while their eyes are glowing, and as they happily hand over the box of cookies, to the unsuspecting neighbors, I always want to take bets on how quicky these poor people will be calling in sick! Yet, because its a nice gesture, they accept the psuedomonas cookies and eat them, while proudly gloating to others that the neighbor kids made them.
The next day, the fighting continued, but luckily without my presence…I had to work. Renee took the kids to the hospital to deliver candy canes to less fortunate people this holiday season. They had fun doing it, and the patients loved it even more. However, Renee reported that in all the time between the selfless giving that was happening, they were calling each other idiots, screaming at each other, taking things out of one anothers hands, and telling each other they hated one another. She warned them plenty of times, before they had pushed too far. Now, they werent going to be able to open gifts in the morning until AFTER breakfast!!! Even then, they would only open gifts if they were sticky sweet to one another at breakfast. Yipes! After the boys were directed to take yet another nap, they readied their selves for Christmas Eve night.
They set the reindeer food out, they put the peanut butter cookies and egg nog out, and they wrote their notes to Santa. By the time I got home from work, they seemed to be in good spirits….excited to open their Christmas PJs, which is a tradition we do every Christmas Eve. After they opened and hurriedly put on their new PJs, they scooted to bed, hoping to fall asleep early so Christmas morning would come faster. This is a nice idea, but something that never happens!
Every Christmas Eve, they also have a slumber party, taking turns staying in each others rooms. All 4 of them cuddle in, with good intent, but the three youngest always end up fighting, while the oldest is screaming “SHHH and be quiet guys”! As Renee and I sat on the couch trying to watch a festive Christmas movie, we listened to them fight. My youngest daughter was removed first….She had to lay her head on the table until she got tired. Next my son came out whining because his brother was saying “buck you” over and over to him……Such nice Christmas sentiment!…..So finally, I entered the room, and lost the strength to keep my voice lowered….Then they all went to sleep!
I loved reading their letters to Santa, and laughed out loud at the boys requests for laptops, and Xboxes, Iphone 5s, and those new watch phones! When I got to my youngest daughters, I was sure it would be the most extravagant by far…..I was both right and wrong…..All it said is “All I want for Christmas is a HIPPOO”! Something ONLY santa would be able to get for her.
After first waking us up at 2:30 am, and then at 8am, Christmas morning had brought about a new day. Renee followed through, and made them wait until after breakfast to open gifts. They were more than kind to each other and us! They were polite during the gift opening, and they made my heart fill with love.
I love my children dearly. Somedays I can see it more clearly than others, and Im thankful for that. Even though we sometimes treat the ones we love in a less than perfect manner….especially in times that they are in our personal space, or have crossed our “clearly placed” lines, its obvious that we love one another. Today Im feeling thankful for my family.
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!!