Saturday, December 28, 2013

Rent a Four-Year-Old

Everyone needs a four-year-old on Christmas morning.

So said my friend Holly on Facebook.

She's spot on.

Add a six-year-old boy for an extra dose of holiday cheer.

They love it all.

They can't wait to see baby Jesus in the manger. And, boy, was John disappointed that the manger was still empty after 6:00 p.m. Mass. They love the lights. John loves the Christmas station  -- I'd bet he knows thirty Christmas carols by now, and he walks around the house singing them. (And nothing beats his rendition of "Walking Around the Christmas Tree".)

And then, of course, there are the gifts. I know, I know -- really, I know -- it's not all about the gifts, but little people in the house make the gift giving so. much. fun.

Everyone needs a four-year-old on Christmas morning.

They love it all.

Ainsley has worn her Dora jammies for three four days straight. They are beginning to remind me of my nephew, Nick, and his Batman t-shirt. We had to peel it off him at night and run it through the laundry fast.

John loves his pirate ship. He loves his Batman watch. He loves his space jammies. He loves it all, and he makes everyone around him happier.

The big boys are content as well. Kolbe is thrilled with his Penny Board. Tim's favorite was a board game -- Axis and Allies: The D Day edition. He and his friends played for six hours the other day.

Christmas was a long, quiet, relaxing day enjoying the kids enjoying their gifts and enjoying the special gift of having Dave's parents with us for the first time. I think I got out of my jammies about three o'clock when a priest friend of ours popped by to say hello.

The morning of December 26th found me cruising up the highway headed for the doctor's office with Kolbe riding shotgun (fever, cough, vomiting -- that perfect trifecta of  post-holiday misery). I passed the mall, and it was packed. Not Christmas Eve packed. Believe it or not, I -- a person who doesn't go the mall five times in any given year -- entered the mall on Christmas Eve. JC Penney, see, knows how to get you in the store. Embracing the generosity that makes the Christmas season so special, Penney's sent me a coupon for $10 off a $10 purchase. Funny, they seem to do this every year. And who can stand to let that pass? Free stuff!

The trick is that there are Exclusions. As in almost every single thing in the store is Excluded. This year, however, I scored. I grabbed the last item in the entire store that wasn't on sale -- a red Izod tie that retailed for a steep $16 -- and got it for a mere six bucks.

I think the last time I was in a mall on Christmas Eve was about 1982. Sometime about mid-morning on Christmas Eve, Dad let slip that perhaps -- just maybe -- he hadn't quite gotten around to buying anything for Mom and would my sister and I please bail him out? Enablers that we were, we did indeed bail out dear Dad. So about 4:00 on Christmas Eve, we were standing in the checkout line at Sears in Oakland Mall. The front doors opened. In strolled two teenage boys who proceeded to grab armfuls of coats and bolt back outside to a getaway car.


I don't like shopping on Christmas Eve.

I like shopping the day after Christmas even less.

Many years ago my sister and I used to hit the stores for the post-Christmas sales. Oh, the thrill of the chase! Crate and Barrel was always high on our list of stores to hit. Cute, trendy Christmas decor for a song. I bought my tree skirt there  -- a beautiful tree skirt I love, love, love -- and raced home to to brag to Dave about my savvy shopping.

Me, thrilled: Crate and Barrel had all their Christmas wares 75% off. $38 bucks!

Dave: Great! So what was the sale price?

Me, perplexed: Ummmm, $38 bucks.

Dave: ???

This year the very idea of going shopping makes me feel like I've eaten too much chocolate cake. We didn't overdo this year, but enough. Just enough.

(I'm typing this just before getting a piece of pumpkin pie for lunch. Ironic.)

Anyway . . .
Merry Christmas!

And borrow a four-year-old if you need a little holiday cheer!


Kris said...

I don't have a 4-year old anymore, but a 9 and 10 year old generate some awesome Christmas excitement just the same! We had Christmas morning in our house for the first time in 4 years, and it was just me, Jim and the boys. It was really, really lovely to just be us. Even the kids, upon remarking how "strange" it was to not be with some cousins on Christmas morning, all agreed that they liked "just us". Merry Christmas!

Kelly Dolin said...

Kris - Merry Christmas! Just us can be nice, so nice. X O.