Ok, so while it's not ideal, I guess we finally have a solution to my whole Christmas quandary of not having real Christmas in our house and figuring out what to do about Santa. We were pondering bringing a few gifts and then doing the rest at home, but since we're staying in Buffalo for a few extra days to enjoy my brother and his family, that would be a while. My mom mentioned that my brother had decided to do Christmas early, and that got me thinking. I mean, it seems a little odd to do it early, like we're cheating or something, but then again, if you frame it right, it can really work out so much better, for so many reasons.
I came up with this scenario, which not only makes me feel better, but also can be the foundation for a reasonable explanation down the road, since I don't foresee our holiday schedule changing any time soon. Santa is going to use our house as a test house. He wants to make sure everything is working right, so we've been specially and randomly selected to be among the first to get our gifts. Oh, and if this explanation ever fails once Jacob's smarter, we'll just revert to something simpler--that Santa knows that we won't be at our house on Christmas morning and wanted to make sure that we got our gifts in time. But anyway, we'll get our stuff early, have a lovely Christmas gift-opening session tonight (hopefully), and be off for the rest of our Christmas festivities by no later than tomorrow morning. Santa will probably come today before Jacob gets home from daycare, assuming that I can utilize my afternoon off to get the rest of his gifts wrapped. I still have a handful to do, and I decided on the way in to work that I need to get a few more stocking stuffers on my way home. That decision actually coincided with the lack of windshield washer fluid in my car this morning, so I might as well kill two birds with one stone. He loves M&Ms so I might as well use this as an excuse to stock him up.
I really like this idea because I think it lays nice groundwork for starting our own Christmas tradition in our own house. I think that's one thing that made me a little sad when we moved out of our other house. Other than moving in and bringing Jacob home, I felt like we didn't have a ton of memories there. Most of our significant events (namely holidays) didn't happen there, so we didn't have the emotional attachment like we probably do to our childhood homes--Christmas morning, Easter basket hunts, birthday parties, etc. So much of what we do for those significant events is with family, and our families reside elsewhere. It's more convenient for us to visit them than for all of them to come to us, so it's understandable that this is how it has to be. But still, the lack of emotional attachments to our old house was a bit of a bummer, even if it did make the moving process less difficult. But now that we have this beautiful house with a perfect place for our tree and a picture-perfect stairway down to the living room, it seemed to be a bit of a waste to not have real Christmas memories there. Now, granted, with this year's setup we won't use the picture perfect stairway, but that's not to say we won't do it Christmas Eve morning someday. And if I can capture Jacob's look of awe when he comes in the door today and sees the presents (if all goes well...though knowing him, he won't even notice), that'll be enough. And each year we'll just have to see how our schedule looks, come up with a plausible explanation of how Santa got us gifts early, and fit it in before we head out. And if all else fails and Jacob figures out that the whole thing is a bit of a sham, there's always this explanation that I hope will make things right again and keep the magic going.
And ultimately, I guess my goal is to get Christmas traditions like that going so we're fully comfortable with them once Jacob is old enough to fully appreciate them. I just want his Christmas to be as magical and wonderful as mine were, even though my traditions were different than what his will be. As long as I can still maintain some level of wonder and anticipation, we're doing well. I think I've already discussed here how it's hard to live up to many years' worth of stay-at-home mom Christmas preparations. Even now I marvel at how many presents and stocking stuffers my mom bought and wrapped. Things were always so perfect on Christmas morning. I just don't have the time at home to do all I'd like to do, but I hope to get close. A couple weeks ago my dad remarked on Facebook that he didn't know what to do with the towels he'd just folded since Christmas towels had taken their place. His conclusion is that women love to work, since we do things like put out Christmas towels and a million other decorations. My response was that we don't love to work--we feel compelled to work to enhance the lives of those around us. Call it a motherly instinct or whatever, but I'm not sure if it's something we're wired to do, or just something we do because it is "expected" of us. If nothing else, perhaps it's a desire to enjoy the fruits of our labor and sit back (ha!) and appreciate all the hard work we've done. Miserable though it can be while I'm putting them up(and even moreso when they're coming down), I do enjoy the Christmas decorations immensely. That's probably my biggest letdown after the holidays--the disappearing act of Christmas lights and decorations. Second to that is the lack of little daily surprises that tend to happen this time of year--unexpected gifts, random treats, odd diversions during an otherwise boring work day. But enjoying all of that stuff while it's still around is nice, and I guess my quest to make Christmas as beautiful and memorable as possible is as much for me as it is for Jacob. It's a tough battle some days (like today, as I head home to wrap, make treats, and pack), but starting tomorrow it's time to enjoy and go with the flow. Christmas is almost here! In case I don't get around to blogging, Merry Christmas to everyone! Have a wonderful holiday with the people you love!