“There is nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.” Erma Bombeck
Bombeck nailed the faint feeling of disappointment that comes with being a grown-up on Christmas. However, there are plenty of things in this world that are sadder. Example: The twenty-somethings of North America who have no idea who Bombeck was. (She died in 1996.) But I digress.
As a child, I loved it when we had a belated Christmas get-together with someone – anyone – that involved exchanging gifts. So, although we didn’t see the grand-babies until after the big day, I hoped that they would feel the same. Of course they did! And this year, I tried something new with their presents.
Oh, they each got a shirt and a book, as usual. (They’re always going to get books from Grandma Lisa!) And they are grateful and curious children who immediately opened their books and started reading. (As my heart burst open!) But there was more. After consulting a friend who has a couple of young children, I chose a shared gift for their major present. A teepee tent.
When I first saw one, I felt mild concern for cultural appropriation. But they’ve become so popular and there’s been no opposition that I could find, so I decided it was okay. And so did the kids! Although we didn’t erect it at our house, I stood up inside it and gave them the gist of it. These two get along well and I hope to foster an ongoing spirit of cooperation with the shared space. Plus, who doesn’t love a fort? It’s just a step up from a blanket fort. They each got a pillow to sit on, creating a de facto personal space within the space. Ryker’s has an amusing bulldog while Vienna’s features a horse and the words, Follow Your Heart. Together, they’re meant to coexist peacefully in the tent, indoors or out.
After pizza and cuddles and play and presents, that special kind of crazy kid-energy creeps in. Mom and Dad are prepared for those moments. Electronic gizmos are highly regulated in their home, so the children are more than happy to calm down when they’re offered. This was the peaceful scene.
Ah, Christmas. Why can’t this spirit last all year long? Not the gifts, but the love and goodwill. Okay, some of the gifts, if I’m being totally honest.