Part of the joy of Christmas comes from the stories we tell of Christmases past.
There was the time “Santa” couldn’t figure out how to wrap my sister’s toy shopping cart and just put a bow on the handle. The lack of patterned paper caused a serious argument in which my feisty little sister blamed me for unwrapping her presents. I’m sure it was resolved somehow by our parents and now it is a fun little memory to retell year after year.
My Grandma and a few of my aunts are also quite fond of telling the story of the time “Sarah dumped the fruitcake.” I must have been 10 or 11 maybe? My great grandmother had commissioned me to go to the kitchen and get the precious plate of perfectly sliced fruit cake. There was dark fruitcake and light fruit cake on a pretty dish ready to serve guests. Wanting to save time and get back to whatever fun I was having with my cousins, I removed the plastic wrap from the plate over the garbage can. In doing so I also managed to dump all of the Christmas delicacy (note my sarcasm here please) into the bin. There was no way to even salvage it because someone had dumped an ash tray into the garbage earlier.
Fast forward to last year. Since Craig worked on Christmas day the kids and I were sleeping at my mom’s house on Christmas Eve. The children were all cozy in their new jammies from Santa and the adults had just settled on to the couch with a large glass of red wine. I think Grandma might have been searching her iPad for a Christmas story to read her beloved grandchildren.
Suddenly my fournado (who last year was only a threenager) burst out of the spare bedroom with some flat square orange packages.
Excited and proud she loudly exclaimed “Mom I found your diapers!”
Cue instant motherhood mortification. While I attempted to collect my ahem “diapers” from my preschooler in a cool and collected fashion, the little Cindy Lou Who went on.
Explaining in a loud voice, that only people under the age of 6 seem to have mastered, ” I don’t know why my mom wears these diapers, I think she pees herself or something.”
Excuse me while I crawl under this twinkly tree and die.
I thought my step-dad was going to keel over from laughing so hard. We’re lucky the wine didn’t end up all over the white couches.
Alas it is true, the joy of Christmas does not always come with the perfectly decorated sugar cookies or the Norman Rockwell scene you picture, reading Rudolf the Red Nose Reindeer in front of a fireplace with lovely quiet and still children.
Sometimes the joy comes in embracing the humor of having little ones to celebrate with and creating a rich collection of stories to tell year after year and pass on for generation.
Sometimes the joy comes in a second glass of red and some extra shortbread to drown our mama woes.