For as long as I can remember we've always gone to my grandparents house to celebrate Christmas Eve. We would even brave midnight mass, which was actually at midnight back then, with the grandparents, aunts, uncle, parents, and 4 kids. My grandparents lived a half hour away from our place and I always thought that maybe this year Santa had come early and we'd see our gifts waiting for us when we got back home (sometimes close to 2am). We were never lucky enough to be on Santa's "early drop off" list, though, and I just couldn't understand it!
On Christmas morning we would race down the stairs to see what Santa had left us. I remember running into my parents bedroom and excitedly waking them up "Mom! Dad! Look what SANTA brought!!!" and Mom and Dad would always get up, slowly, and shuffle into the living room so they could see what goodies we'd been given. One could tell by their reactions that they were just as excited as we kids were, or at least they tried to be on such little sleep. As we got older there was a slight change in the way things were done. Typically it was Mom calling up the stairs "Kids! Wake up, Santa came!!"
Our family took in foster children so Mom and Dad always tried to be prepared with extra gifts for the children that came to our house just a day or two before Christmas. I know it must've been difficult to prepare for the unknown. Would we get a call to get a child? Two, maybe? Boy or Girl? What type of gifts should we have "just in case??" No matter who was under our roof, though, or how old they were, Santa always came. It was kinda nice to be a 16 year old and still enjoy the excitement of Santa, especially since I was old enough to appreciate the excitement of the younger foster children.
Now as a parent myself it is even more special watching the little ones on Christmas morning and I hope we're able to create some great memories for our children to look back on fondly. You never know what might stick in a kid's head so I pray that Biju and I are able to make the right decisions as we raise them and that we give the kids plenty of fun experiences.
Perhaps the boys will remember this year for a couple of things. I know I'll remember that this year Santa sent the boys a personal message from the North Pole. The boys viewed their online messages a couple of days before we drove to my parents and it was great watching the boys as they watched Santa talk to them. Santa made a point to let Ajay know that while he needed to work a bit harder on not interrupting people, he knew that he'd been trying. He also asked Alex to get along better with his brother. I think the Big Man in Red made a big impression on the boys. Also, on Christmas Eve when we got back to my parents, Ajay tossed some reindeer food out for Santa's flight crew. This is something he did last year, too, so it will probably turn into a tradition.
What are some of your favorite memories of Christmas?