Christmas morning began bright and early - with the sounds of the pitter patter of little feet coming into Deonne and I's bedroom. James crawled into bed with us - not quite awake yet - but within moments, started getting up and back out of the bed. Deonne asked him where he was going - he said 'downstairs. To see if Santa came.' Nice try. We told him he needed to wait until everyone was up and awake.
So, Jack was the next to arise. Deonne went down to get him - and start my morning coffee - then back upstairs to wait for Anna. We turned on the TV to let James watch some Christmas specials, and after tormenting him enough, finally said 'go, wake up your sister.'
Anna was none too thrilled to be awakened - but once she realized what day it was - she eagerly got out of bed and allowed me to brush her hair and pull it back.
So down the stairs we went - Deonne going first to 'check out what Santa left.' His tradition is to stake out the room, make sure everything is okay, and grumble a little over Santa leaving such a mess while the children wait around the corner in the kitchen.
All traditions went out the window this year - as James went running - no - barging into the den with full speed.
Stockings were the first order of business - and Jack was delighted to find a carton of goldfish crackers. So delighted, in fact, that once he had that carton of 'fishies' open and tucked under his arm, he had no interest whatsoever in any of the treats or packages that had been left for him - he happily wandered around, one arm around the box and one hand going from his mouth to the insides of the box - stepping over presents, occasionally squatting down to look at something - but all in all - just stuffing fish into his mouth.
Anna carefully sorted through each and every item in her stocking, then slowly and carefully unwrapped each package that Santa left for her. She ooohhed and aaaahhed over everything, setting things aside slowly to go to the next present, admiring her loot all the while.
Jack did finally decide he liked his Little People wagon - and would pull it around the house - but make no mistake - he'd pause frequently to stuff more fish into his mouth.
HO HO HO! MERRY CHRISTMAS
My dearest Anna, James, and Jack
My little helper Happy has been providing updates on you.
Letting me know of your good deeds, all the long year through.
I hear you have been three good children, and trying your best to obey,
So I hope you enjoy and laugh and play with the goodies I brought on my sleigh.
My elves and I have one last gift, a big one for you to find.
We worked hard all through the night to bring you a place to slide.
So look out the window and out in the yard, and see what you might see,
a place to climb and play and swing and let your spirit be free.
Happy Christmas to All!
After running to the window - James was ecstatic. I think he almost peed his pants. We could barely get his hat, shoes, and coat on him before he was out the door and onto the new play set.
Uh, okay. Maybe Santa thought you could PRETEND.
After letting the kids run and play on their new huge present from Santa - how did those elves get something so big built in just one day? - we brought everyone in from the cold - and forced them to sit down to a nice breakfast in the dining room.
It was Anna who asked the question - shouldn't we be singing Happy Birthday? Isn't today Jesus' birthday? And she was right. So following our blessing, we sang Happy Birthday to Jesus - then moved on to round two ......