Santa came to our house last night because this morning was the only morning all three of us would be home and together as a family. As soon as Eliot was in bed last night I stuffed his stocking full of goodies, Eli brought up the tricycle we'd been hiding in the basement and put it under the tree, and we wrapped his other presents.
I was so full of anticipation last night, wrapping presents, drinking hot chocolate, watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation...and I thought, ya know, it just doesn't get much better than this.
Exhibit A: stockings hung from the fireplace with care
(the white one on the end is Mumford's)
Until this morning! Eliot had come to bed with me last night; he was having a hard time sleeping. And Eli fell asleep on the couch watching Lord of the Rings. Again. He always seems to bust out those DVDs around Christmas time to rewatch the whole series. Anyway, Eliot and I woke up, and he was snuggling and chattering to me, all woolly-headed. And after a bit, I said, "Eliot, do you want to go see what kinds of prizes Santa brought you last night?" Because we had talked about Santa Claus coming and that in the morning there would be presents. But he wasn't all that interested. We walked down the hall into the living room to wake up Dad, and Eliot right away noticed through the sunroom windows the tricycle sitting under the tree. He pointed to it and looked at me questioningly. We went out to investigate. He walked round and round it, gingerly touching the streamers on the handlebars, the seat, the wheels. And when I asked if he wanted to sit on it, he nodded his head up and down and said, "uh-huh."
His feet are just barely shy of touching the pedals when they're on the rotation furthest from his foot. It won't be long before he's cruising all over the place on his own. But until then, I've a feeling I'm going to be making many many trips around the living room pushing him!
We rode into the living room, where Dad was still on the couch, and got Eliot's stocking down from the fireplace mantel. He was SO delighted with every single item he pulled out of his stocking, especially the "Chuffy" aka Thomas the Tank Engine fork and spoon. He kept yelling, Dadda, spoon! Spoon, Dadda!" and waving it in front of Eli's face. There was also a six piece wooden train set that he pulled out one car at a time, yelling "choo-choo" with the revelation of each new piece, two Chuffy sippy cups, a Backyardigans DVD, and a package of M&M's.
After his stocking was empty, he took almost as much joy in watching Eli pull goodies out of his stocking, and watching me go through mine. Some of the highlights were a zombie identification guide for Eli and a Japanese book binding kit for me. Turkey giblet dinner for Mumford. Yippee!
A little later in the morning, once we had all gotten cleaned up and dressed, we went back out to the tree for him to open his wrapped gifts from me and Eli. He got the idea about tearing the paper off the gifts immediately. When he saw his Mickey Mouse doll, he exclaimed, "Hot dog!" which of course had Eli and I cracking up.
Exhibit B: "Hot dog!"
The entire morning was almost too perfect, with Eli and I winking and grinning at each other over Eliot's head, and pulling him close to give him kisses every other minute. Like something out of an ABC Christmas special.
I called first my mom and then later my dad, to tell them both how surprised and pleased I am that BEING Santa Claus is three thousand times more fun than getting gifts from Santa Claus. Mom said, "Well, yeah, Rachel!" like this was an incredibly obvious observation that she was surprised I hadn't made sooner, "Why do you think so many parents continue to perpetuate the myth year after year? Because it's so much fun!"
It was. Folks, I'm a Scrooge no longer.
Hope all of your Christmases are just as merry and bright. :-)