Christmas was, in our house, decidedly simple. Our son is 15 now so there is no more pretending about Santa; no reading Polar Express before bed or sprinkling the reindeer food in the backyard, milk and cookies that we stealthily hide, or complicated toys to put together.
In some ways, it was a little sad. When I was in the thick of those days I'd pray for more sleep, but this year with a teenager, we were rousing him groggily from bed at 10 am.
Leading up to Christmas Eve, I spent my days at the local toy shop helping out-dancing around with Sing a ma Jigs, helping parents play Santa and ringing in PILES of toys. It was fun but oh MAN, all that bending down to grab shopping bags left me with seriously sore leg muscles.
In our family, Christmas is all about just hanging out together with lots of food and movies. We purposely try to keep things quiet and simple because usually by then we are all in need of a quiet break, and look forward to some family time. I set up this great spread of appetizers and we all cuddled up on the couch by the fire, ready to watch Avatar, when the DVD player died.
DIED. We forgot that last year we were holding it together with tape and an eraser.
As we contemplated our options, in true MacGyver fashion Kevin hooked up his laptop, the computer speakers, and in the end created a surround sound movie experience that was BETTER than our DVD player.
Techie teenagers ROCK, my friends.
We sat and watched the movies, contemplating our ridiculously tiny tree that we have all grown to love, and the few presents beneath. In our quest to be practical we had given each other money and as a result, under the tree was decidedly bare. It's not like there wasn't any gifts or that we couldn't afford them, but some were in transit, some are things coveted to be bought after Boxing Day, and some were already purchased and carefully placed underneath. Of course we also ran out of wrapping paper and being too lazy to stand in line at the store, we broke out the mailing kraft paper and wrapped with that.
Santa still came, and the funny thing is that while it looked like the tree held nothing worthy of extreme joy underneath it, the few things that we had bought Kevin (besides the money he requested) had him bursting with joy; a new computer chair that he and Hubs quickly put together and then took a spin through the house with, Skullcandy earbuds, and a computer game.
This stocking stuffer became the brunt of bad jokes the entire day. I also gave Kevin Kanoodle, which he promptly sat down with and completed a 3D puzzle while I looked on it awe. I *cough* can't even do the simple ones. *cough*
What had seemed like very little turned out to be just perfect and as we sat around with a mound of tissue paper and new toys for everyone to enjoy, Christmas felt full. Or was it the amazing blueberry cream cheese stuffed French toast we had for breakfast?
The rest of the day was spent out on a walk, playing with our new toys, enjoying a turkey dinner with all the trimmings, and then settling down later in the evening to Iron Man 2.
As we sat by the fire nibbling pumpkin pie and enjoying each other, collectively we agreed that this Christmas had been one of our favorites. While we had joked repeatedly that this was our decidedly Charlie Brown Christmas, but in the end it wasn't the size of the tree, the color of the wrapping paper, or the amount of gifts that mattered at all.
Instead it was the amount of love.