1) The first one I'll express in poem:
We had a rule in our house to celebrate a merry way
"No opening presents until Christmas Day!"
For I wanted the morning to be an experience to remember
But Alas the first gifts came on the 10th of December
making my poor boy complain and resent
Asking every 10 minutes "Can I open the present!?"
Next year all will appear suddenly on Christmas Day
To save my sanity and keep my innner Grinch at bay...
2) The Mall
Having a 3 year old and a 1 and 1/2 year old and going to the mall during Christmas time is a soul draining experience. With my son running around weaving in and out of mall traffic, causing kids, the elderly, and the faint-hearted to trip over. My daughter got a kick out of grabbing things from every store we entered and making a run for it, like she was re-enacting a scene from Oliver Twist.
I know I'm starting to start like the Grinch for real but as a mother, I HATE GLITTER. The stuff never leaves the house once entered, it's like the holiday bed bugs. If someone gives you a bag or a ribbon filled with glitter months will pass where glitter will randomly show up on your sons face or on a banana, a blanket, a towel and you constantly think "I THOUGHT I GOT ALL OF IT!!"
4) Ornament Control
My daughter the 1 and 1/2 year old loves grabbing the ornaments off the tree. Some of them were shatter proof and some of them were not. We were playing 24/7 ornament control in our house, I felt a tinge of anxiety every time my daughter so much as looked at our tree.
5) Opening Children's Toys
Long gone are the days of opening the box and taking out the present. As a kid I don't remember every extremity of my Rainbow Bright being attached to a box. Toys are now attached to the plastic or cardboard casing by being bolted and/or wired, and don't forget those fun nylon cable wires strapped on for additional support. I don't understand why opening gifts now a days has to be a 12 step process. Did the packing department at Fisher Price merge with the CIA or something? I tried to open a plastic toy cash register. The actual register was screwed into its cardboard box. So to open the gift I had to get out my tool box and find the right bit on my battery screwdriver to open the gift. Then there was the whole unraveling all those wire ties. There is no simple easy way to do it aside from unraveling each wire, which drove my daechoong side crazy!
On the flip side it was amazing experiencing Christmas again through the eyes of a child. When I was young waking up Christmas morning was a magical experience in some ways. I woke up with a sense of Joy that it was Jesus' birthday and I would be able to celebrate with my family. As i got older the day seemed to lose its magic every year. The day slowly became mundane and obligatory. I remember when I was in high school waking up Christmas morning and realizing that it felt like any other day.
My son is now almost four and I feel like its our first Christmas where he is fully aware of the holiday and he is certainly fully aware of presents and Santa and the whole holiday season whirlwind. This year to see him understand that meaning behind Christmas and watch the joy light up on his face when he opened his gifts made all of the annoying things I ranted above, absolutely worth it.
Notice how there are no ornaments on the bottom of the tree?
I think my daughter had more fun with the wrapping paper than the actual gifts...
"There's no more wrapping paper?"