Opening Presents, by Deb Emily

Emily Winslow by Jonathan PlayerPatience is a virtue. And squeezing and shaking the wrapped presents under the tree is a time-honored tradition. Presents are meant to be unwrapped on Christmas morning, after the sun is up, and when the whole family is gathered around in our pajamas, right?

Not this year!

Sure we get our kids a couple of special gifts each year, but mostly their gifts come in the mail from relatives. Saving them up to be opened on Christmas morning seemed like a good idea, but doing so actually jumbled all the gifts together in their memories. So now we open them as they arrive, and the boys spend the hours afterward playing with that one gift, and thinking of that one giver. I like that better.

Presents, after all, are physical tokens of a relationship, and it’s the relationship that really matters. My mom was recently here, and took the boys on a bus trip to the nearest Lego store, two hours away. She bought them each a few small items (a keychain, a mini-figure, a small tow truck and small jet). She offered me the bag, so I could hide them away in the pantry until the 25th, but I handed it back. Instead, she and the boys played with them together every morning at breakfast. They’ll never forget that those things came from their Omi, who helped them build and play.

Christmas morning won’t be barren, though. We’ll go to church with their other grandma, and she’ll have more Lego for them to open. And there will be a few things from us. (Shhhhh! Don’t tell the boys that they’re hidden in the pantry!)

PS–I try to limit the pix of my kids that go up on the internet, so instead I offer these pix from my own childhood (okay, teen years):

With Santa at the MallThrough the snow

Posing with Santa on a choir trip to sing carols at the mall.
And heading out through the snow to a sleepover at a friend’s house.
I miss snow like that!

Update: England has snow! England has snow! Hooray!

7 Replies to “Opening Presents, by Deb Emily”

  1. Wow! That’s a lot of snow in your picture! Enjoy it in England. I heard you got clobbered! Last year we had more snow than they’ve had here in sixty years or something, this year is more normal. Nary a flake. But we’ve got the rain. Oh, boy! Just like my childhood Christmases.

  2. Laughing because I just received three packages holding presents for both my kids from my uncle and aunt … and listened to a tantrum from my oldest because I didn’t let him open them right now… In fact, he whined…”Can’t we pretend they’re NOT Christmas presents??!”

    I’ve drawn a line in the sand, so I’ll stick with my edict. But I can see the charm in doing it your way, Emily, so maybe next year!

    (And I’m really glad he doesn’t read blogs yet or I’d never hear the end of this…)

  3. My husband isn’t happy about the snow at all, because he had to drive in it 😉

    Kristina, I don’t know if your kids can’t read blogs yet because they’re not allowed on the computer or if they can’t yet read, but you reminded me of the week our oldest learned to read. We were traveling, he was three, and he just picked up a book at a friend’s house and read it. We were gobsmacked. And the next day, at another friend’s house to do crafts, we were in a frenzy to find pages of newspaper (to cover the table) that didn’t have scary headlines. Man, it’s suddenly a scramble when you realize they can understand stuff!

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