Another Christmas Bites The Dust

I'm not at all sad to see Christmas day come and gone. It always amuses me that I shop for months, spend hours of my life wrapping presents and sweat half day slaving away in a kitchen; all for the day to pass in a swift blur with nothing but some photographic evidence, a few garbage bags stuffed with ripped packaging and a closet full of plastic crap toys to show for it. All that and a headache too.

(Although, I confess, mine may have been well deserved and of the vino variety.)

Family gatherings and holidays in general still bring the tender hurt out in my heart. It's hard not to be hyper-aware there is one little body, one small boy who isn't taking up floor space, drooling on the hardwood and wondering when he will be able to get his hands on that empty box sitting in the corner.

Yet I found it distinctly difficult to sink into a maudlin funk as my four year old niece sat on my lap and tried to stuff a candy cane in my ear while I watched a roomful of other beloved children wiggle and giggle with Christmas excitement.

Like my favorite chocolate, Christmas will now and forever be bittersweet.

A balm to our wounded souls is our family knows how to have a good time. A good time which includes renting a city transit bus, stuffing it full of a dozen or more excited and noisy children, some slightly tipsy parents all holding their own personal thermos of magical Christmas elixir and going on a tour of the city to appreciate the season's light show.

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The neighbours were all peaking out their windows, wondering what the hell we were up to.

Picture a herd of small children running up and down the aisle, squealing with delight as the bus jostled down city streets as the cool older children sat at the back of the bus screeching out Christmas carols at the top of their lungs while we parents sat and tried to ignore them all.

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Festive, and safe. The best type of Christmas there is.

(My ears are still ringing two days later.)

That was only the start of our Christmas celebrations. It got better from there.

(But never any quieter.)

A new holiday classic was created when Boo's three year old nephew mistook Boo's groin for a candy cane and nearly castrated my darling husband. Picture a pretty blonde boy hanging one inch to the left of Boo's package while Boo tried to entice him off with sweets and swallow the dirty words that surely sprung to mind.

How I wished I had a camera in my hands at that moment.

Thankfully, no manhood or any parts thereof, where injured by the misguiding chomping of a sweet three year old's pearly whites. Boo's inner thigh now sports a nice set of teeth marks, but worst yet, his ego is slightly bruised by the fact we adults were much to busy laughing to offer sympathy (or help) during his time of crisis.

(In our defense, we may have been slightly tipsy.)

Then there was the traditional unwrapping of my thoughtfully wrapped packages on Christmas morning. It doesn't get any better than watching your children's eyes light up like a Christmas tree when they discover what was hidden underneath the ribbons and bows just for them.

I will never grow tired of that joy.

Toss in some magic moments when I kicked everybody's butt in a game of Monopoly, and it turned out to be a Christmas I could really sink my teeth into. (Not that I'm competitive or bragging or any such thing...)

Boo had his moment too, as I was sadly robbed of victory. While I put in a good effort, I knew I was beat when I spied my professionally wrapped parcel. My cries of "Cheater!" fell on deaf ears when I ripped open the paper.

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My preciousssss, my preciousssss.

Suddenly I was distracted by gigabytes and hard drives. It's always hard to admit defeat, but somehow stroking my shiny new laptop made it that much more bearable.

I have since called a moratorium on all adult gift giving. If I can't win, I don't want to play. Not to mention, at this price rate, soon we will be homeless and bankrupt.

Next year, we're sticking to home made presents. I'm bound to win with all the crafty genes I inherited from my mother flowing through my veins.

Then again, like the season of Christmas itself, duct tape is a wonder.

I hope your Christmas was filled with as much joy and love as mine was.