In the past I wasn't always excited about the arrival of Christmas. After you reach a certain age it loses some of its magic. The element of surprise is gone. You no longer believe in Santa Claus. No one leaves cookies and milk by the tree for him or gets up early to see what he has left. Looking back there were lots of clues that my parents were Santa. All of the gift tags were written in my dad's all capital letter handwriting. Santa's gifts and my parents gifts had the same wrapping paper. It doesn't take a genius to figure it out. Once you do figure it out Christmas doesn't seem as magical or mysterious. You know where the presents come from and you even make a deal with your sister to tell each other everything you got. The only reason you know all of your siblings gifts is because now that the charade of Santa is gone your parents make you wrap all of the presents. Not that we were never surprised. One year all 6 of us got new bikes and an air hockey table. It was pretty awesome, even though being excited about a new bike when you're in seventh grade is kind of dorky. Other years they managed to hide a few things that we didn't know about. Now our family is getting so big with all of the grandkids that we add each year that we now draw names. My parents only get gifts for 2 people, whoever is lucky enough to have their name drawn by them.
Now I'm on the other end of the Santa Claus deal. I'm the one buying the gifts with David and telling my ladies (mostly Alana right now, Ava is too little to be bratty) to be good or Santa won't bring them presents. Thats a flat out lie. We love them too much to not get them presents. We went shopping last week with the intention of buying some presents for ourselves. That used to be the main thing we spent our Christmas budget on. LOTS of presents for ourselves. Now we go shopping and end up buying a new bike for Alana and lots of new little toys for Ava. Not that there was nothing we wanted, we just couldn't pull the trigger and spend the money on ourselves. We are officially lame. I do have to admit that Christmas is now 100% more enjoyable with kids. Someone believes in Santa again. There is a reason to get up early to open presents on Christmas morning, not open them a week before Christmas because no one is telling you not to. (David and I actually did that one year and Christmas morning was kind of boring.) Being on the giving end is more enjoyable and exciting.
**David is like a little kid at Christmas time buying gifts and making me put up the tree before Thanksgiving and lighting stinky pine scented candles so "it smells like Christmas", so in a way its like I've always had a kid around at Christmas. Even when I had no desire to decorate or celebrate.