Friday, December 19, 2008

Had ourselves an early little Christmas

My husband and I make it a priority to have Christmas at home. Now that our children are older, we stay put every other Christmas. On the years that we travel, we ask Santa to come early so we can have a full-fledged "Christmas Day" in our own home with our own tree and just immediate family.

Yes, we welcome the dark forces of Santa Claus into our home. We also cut the heads off chickens and dance naked around bonfires.

As far as you know.

Soooo ... what was I saying?

The behaviors, due to trauma, were starting to escalate. My kids were going Old School this week, pulling out a few things that they hadn't done in weeks. Our Tourettes gal was having a reunion with some retro vocal tics and a constant barrage of acid reflux nausea. Saturday was to be our "Christmas Day," then we had two deaths at our church (meaning two funerals for my husband to officiate). Saturday was now out of the running. It had to be today.

That's when the lightbulb went off. My husband and I looked at each other and said, "Let's not tell them!"

Uh-huh. We pulled off a completely surprise Christmas! Not only was it super fun to sneak around in the wee hours of the night to get out everything from Jolly Old St. How-Dare-You-Crowd-the-Baby-Jesus Nicholas, but we got to wake them up by saying, "HOLY TOLEDO! SANTA CAME!"

We actually handled it with a bit more subtlety. One of our children has PTSD, and you have to be careful HOW you present surprises (woke them first, let them drag around their room groggily, and Michael started ringing sleigh bells very quietly as he said, "Somebody came to our house earrrrrrrly.").

We're quite brilliant, actually. We cut out an entire day of anticipation behaviors. Granted, we still have a giant trip coming up with lots of new relatives and activities and places. But, hey - any little bit helps.

Merry early Christmas.

(photo by Thomas Ricks)


darbishar said...

Well Merry Christmas! Hope you guys have a lovely day.

Sara said...


Hannah_Rae said...

I know the anticipation thing can be really tough. What a great way to handle it. :)

My family isn't into the whole santa thing, but I don't hold it against those who do. I just think it takes extra effort to put the emphasis back on Jesus, but it can be done. I had a friend at Bible study the other night give a 5 minute lecture about the evils (and she actually used that word) of Santa Clause after she was offered a painted ceramic plate with his picture on it. I had a hard time containing myself...but I kept my temper. HOW RUDE!!! I mean, a simple "no thank you" would have done just fine.


Have a very merry and safe Christmas! JESUS LOVES YOU!!!

Brenda said...

Oh HOW FUN!!! And you even found a photo of a RAD Santa!! Enjoy your day! My daughters are on the way home right now!!! I need to get back to cleaning. One is a bringing a boy we've never met.

Tracy said...

Merry Christmas to you all! That sounds perfect!!

Terroni said...

Merry Christmas to all!

Christine said...

HR, those types of social situations are SO TOUGH - when you see someone being so hurtful, but you're trying to balance if you should say something or not ... and HOW to say it. ugh. Happy Holidays! ha!

Ya' know, I've had many people talk about the difficulties of keeping the emphasis on Jesus at Christmas time (and oh how I have heard of the "evils"). We just simply don't worry about it ... because ... well, Jesus is the biggest part of our every single day. We actually have to make the effort to do any pretend play with Santa (and it's soooo fun with our younger children - well, and my HUSBAND! ha!). The only time we talk about St. Nic is when we do the whole gift thing. Our Jesus ... well, he's literally the air we breathe around here.

Although, I learned long ago to not bring any Santa stuff to church gift exchanges ... unless I was in the mood to have myself a new butt hold ripped right there on the spot. ;) Snowmen, however, are religiously acceptable icons.

Rachel said...

I love it. I love your approach to good ol' St. Nick and Jesus every day.

Merry Christmas!

mama d said...

I'm with Sara: Brilliant! We should have thought of this weeks ago.

Recovering Noah said...

Happy early Merry Christmas!!!

And we do Santa, too. Quite honestly, it's what I bribe Eli with all year long. ;-)

Kristen said...

Ah - anticipation behaviors. We know them well!! I've never heard that term before, though. I will be using it from now on.

Brilliant way to avoid it.

happygeek said...

What a fun way to celebrate.
I can tell you are from down South, it's a totally different culture.
I'm Canadian and have chosen not to do Santa and most of my Christian friends look at me as if I have announced my plans to wear a denim jumper only start singing hymns(loudly) in the local mall. :)

Have a super Christmas.

hopefuloffive said...

So funny... It makes me feel better to see other people do add Santa to Christmas. Obviously, Jesus is the center of it all, but seriously if for a couple weeks of a year we mention another icon (not saying Jesus is an icon, but a King)... if we take away all other fascinations we might as well turn off the TV and tell my son he can't dress up like any Star Wars character either... wait maybe we should turn off the tv, whole other topic. thanks for the ideas!