Ours was a house of torture every Dec. 25th. We were not allowed to wake up our parents. We were not allowed to touch anything under the tree. We were not allowed to dump our stockings. We were not allowed to spend all morning in our pj's basking in the after glow of shredded wrapping paper and new toy euphoria. Nope, we had to practically sit on our hands until Mom and Dad decided they were ready to head to the tree - always after showers, always after breakfast, always after noon (ok, that part might be a stretch - it was usually more like 10:00 a.m). There were literally HOURS of anticipation after we woke up. And if Christmas fell on a Sunday? Psssssssh - we practically had to wait til Monday to start.
Then finally - FINALLY - when Mom and Dad decided it was tree time we ran into it's needles and the blury and fury of present opening began! Wait, no - that's not how it happened, of course. Somebody, usually my brother, put on the santa hat and began handing out presents...one.......by.......one. 1 present to 1 person and everybody had to sit and watch and wait for that 1 person to get finished unwrapping their gift before the next person got a turn. And there were 5 of us, at a minimum, so present opening took fOrEvEr. And when it was my dad's turn? FORGET ABOUT IT. You better hope one of the presents you already opened was a book so you'd have a way to pass the 24 minutes it took him to pocket knife open every single piece of tape on his gift and slowly, neatly unfold the paper. Thanks a lot for teaching him that particularly agonizing trait, Grandpa. I have become an expert at wrapping his presents with just 3 small pieces of tape. So it was usually about 9 p.m. when we finished unwrapping gifts (ok, that might be a stretch, too).
So is it any wonder that I don't make it to Christmas now? Heck, we did better than last year. Last year we opened presents up as soon as they arrived in the mail! I just can't STAND IT to not open presents. I don't even care what's in them, I just need to set them free from their binding of tape and paper. It could be a box of cereal wrapped in newspaper and I would be ecstatic to open it up (yup, that's actually happened before - my dad again). Now don't get me wrong, my parents are not scrooges. They just discovered a way to gleefully and giddily torture and exasperate their children 1 day a year while at the same time creating hilarious (sarcasm font) holiday traditions and memories. My husband has picked up on this and finds it quite amusing to set my birthday presents out on the kitchen table for an hour or two a day before my birthday just to drive me crazy. He always puts them back away, though, because he knows if he forgets and leaves the house, then that wrapping paper will mysteriously vanish. He won't do it on Christmas, though, because he's almost as impatient about it as I am.
So here I am on Friday morning, December 23rd with no presents left to open. AND I LOVE IT. I will never ever ever ever ever been a show like veggie tales....oh sorry - got my sentence mixed up with the theme song playing in the living room. What I meant to say was that I will never ever do that to Little. The Jones Family Christmas tradition of gift agony is dead to me. The Palmer family tradition is to open your presents as soon as you can't take it anymore while understanding and accepting that you may end up with nothing left to open on the actual morning of Christmas. Booyah.
I must say that there were some rather hilarious gifts this year, which I always appreciate. There was a t-shirt professing the wearer's love for crossword puzzles
and a gift card that proclaims HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
But the one that takes the cake (err tree?): CAT BLANKET.
Cat Blanket Christmas Tree!
Oh Cat Blanket tree, oh Cat Blanket treeeeeeeeee, how lovely are your whiiiiiiskerrrrs!
I couldn't wait to show Little this morning.
All hail Cat Blanket!
"nnungoh Keetee! Amooow!" Translation - Snuggle kitty! meow!
So have a merry Christmas, everyone! Any way (and any day) you choose to celebrate!