Sunday, December 9, 2007

christmas traditions

On Christmas morning, my sisters, brother and I would wake up just as early as we could. One of us (usually my oldest sister Jennifer) would go to my parents' bedside to ask if it was time to wake up. The answer was always "not yet...go back to bed!" Instead of doing as we were told, we'd all meet back up at the top of the steps. We were all so excited our eyes twinkled and our feet danced. There was no way we'd ever wind ourselves down enough to go to sleep. It was still very dark outside...maybe as early as 4 a.m.! Sitting there on the top of the stairs in our pajamas and with messy bedhair (and bad breath) we'd start singing all the Christmas carols we could remember. Before long we would sing them at top volume.

"Ooooooh....wait. I think I hear them getting up." We'd hear our parents' feet hit the floor and after a while the toilet would flush. They're up!!!

We were held at bay until the lights were turned on and things were checked out. "Did Santa come? Did he leave gifts for us? Is that a bicycle wheel I see?"

Finally, my parents would say "Okay...Merry Christmas!" and we'd all run into the living room. All the gifts would be set up, unwrapped, unboxed and ready to play! There would be a little confusion as we sleepily found our way to our personal toy area.

I'll never forget the year that my sister Jessica got a bicycle and a desk! She just stood there and cried and cried and cried. She cried just like the people do in the audience of Oprah's favorite things show.

There's a special feeling on Christmas excitement that's palpable. All of our family still meets at my parents' house on Christmas morning. We're all held at bay until the living room lights are turned on and someone checks to make sure Santa did in fact come again this year. And still there are years when my sister Jessica sits there and cries and cries. Good times.

Merry Christmas everybody! May you always see the day through the eyes of a child and may your heart be tender to the spirit of the season.

Jill is hosting a Christmas Traditions celebration. Visit her blog to join the fun.


Jill said...

Oh Amy... you have sent shivers down my spine! The excitement of Christmas morning is the best.... I remember being a child and slowly creeping around the corner to see what wonder he had brought... and my children sat on the top of the steps... waiting for mom to get the camera ready! Thank you so much for being a part of this wonderful celebration.
Merry Christmas!
xoxox Jill

Thrifty Miss Priss said...

Such sweet memories! Love the part about your sister crying! So cute! Sounds a little like our Christmas mornings around husband and I make sure everything is still "just so" and then yell, OK! Come down, HO HO HO!
Merry Christmas Amy!

Leslie said...

You described this scene so well! I remember waking before dawn with my sister too, and sneaking into the living room to see what Santa brought. The excitement was just too much to wait until morning!

What sweet memories!

Merry Christmas!

Mary Timme said...

Oh nicely done!

Gretchen said...

I so enjoyed your memories of Christmas morning. MAY make me a bit more patient with my kids when they run in and wake me up this year...may...:)

Merry Christmas.

Lea said...

Hello Amy! I love the images of these special Christmas morning memories!!! I can SEE you all at the top of the stairs and the excitement and songs and joy of family gathering around you kids. And Jessica's bicycle, oh the joy of a child!!! It is so precious. Thank you for these gifts and a Merry Christmas to you!

The Rose Room said...

I stumbled across you via Posy Gets Cozy and backtracked to your news of fostering a child. We too suffered infertily and looked to fostering but were lucky enough to adopt. Bless you both, I can see from your blog you and your husband are going to give some special children much needed love and security in their wee lives. Take Care - Rachaelxo

Maerlowe said...

Also here via Alicia. We've been foster parents for over a year, and are about to adopt our son. You may already know this, but there are a lot of foster parent/foster-adopt parent bloggers out there.

I remember what it was like getting started -- so exciting, so scary, so daunting, so much possibility, so many emotions. Congratulations on getting started! If you ever need advice from someone who's BTDT, just ask.

eb said...

what a lovely post - the excitement is so palpable - I remember getting my little sister Jill up at the crack of dawn to PEEK... oh the delightful wonder of this special season - thanks for sharing...

xox - eb.

Mosaic*Queen said...

Oh my goodness, it's been ages since I've visited you!
Thank you for sharing such beautiful memories!
Happy Holidays to you!!

Annie said...

How lovely that you all gather at the same place every year. I read this and am reminded of how things change with the passing of parents. You have a true Christmas treasure.

Morgan said...

Oh I loved reading this! Our story is so similar- we'd just sit at the top of the stairs- not allowed to go and see the presents until the parents were up (darn them! LOL!) Thanks for sharing such a sweet memory!


Dianne said...

This is a cute post! My mom (a single parent) didn't wrap up our gifts for many years as it was too much for her with 4 kids. We didn't mind until we figured out unwrapping gifts was more fun and took longer, making Christmas last longer too.

Annette D said...

Unwrapped presents, waking parents up early, all echo my memories of Christmas growing up, too. There were 5 of us kids. Thanks for evoking some good thoughts!

Anonymous said...

I am also a "crier"!! Santa always visited our house on Christmas Ever when dad took us for a "ride" to look at Christmas Lights. When we got home, he had been there!!! I never had to wait until morning.
It was great to meet you at Silver Bella!