Christmas mornings at our house are usually pretty hectic. With two teens and two little ones my organization and order usually get thrown out the door within the first two minutes.
You see, the night before I plan very strategically how the gift opening will happen. I know every gift that is going to be handed out (because I have shopped and wrapped them all). After Santa visits, I go through every one and put them in a certain order under the tree so that I can give them out to the kids in an orderly fashion. For the teens I try to save the biggest and best gift for last so this order is most important for them.
When morning arrives, I wake up before everyone else (I was trained at an early age to wake up in the wee hours on Christmas morning). I turn on the tree lights and put on the Christmas music softly. I then go back to bed and wait for the troops to get up. My thinking is that when they wake up they will see a beautiful tree with beautiful presents and hear beautiful music just as it was meant to be.
Usually it doesn't pan out that way. By the time I get them all in their "gift opening spots" in front of the tree things go a little crazy. I give it my best shot to let them each open their gifts one by one so that everyone can see each gift being given. I am also in charge of making sure that the wrapping paper gets thrown in the trash can without anything of value going with it. That's a particular challenge.
But this year was a little different than in years past. My teens are actually growing up. This was the first year that they didn't count presents and each present that they opened they were grateful for and were very thankful. In years past the first words out of their mouths were usually "NEXT!". Not this year. This year was the first year that they got me a gift and I think they were more excited to see me open this gift from them than they were to open their own gifts. This left me most puzzled but in a good way. And I did love the gift. It was a new wallet that I so desperately needed and they knew it because I complained about my old one almost every day for the past 4 months. And then for the first time I saw my older boys exchange gifts for each other. That was something that I had never seen before. I actually witnessed them smiling and laughing at their respective gifts. It was a sight that I was not used to.
I have been thinking about that sight for the past day and I think I like that gift better than the wallet. The memory will certainly last longer and made me so much more happy because it was what motherhood is all about...and I am a very proud mother.