The earliest my little daughter ever woke up on Christmas morning was 2:30am which led to a bleary eyed day that had us all nodding off in the dining room around noon time. She also used to hide notes in her bedroom for the Christmas elf so he would write back to her. I can still see my husband and I with flashlights looking under this and that while she slept, desperate to find the hidden treasure so we could pose as the elf and make sure her heart wasn’t broken in the morning. Now she’s old enough and I know she doesn’t believe but she doesn’t seem to want to tell ME that.
Around Thanksgiving I said to my older daughter, “Can’t I just put gifts under the tree wrapped as I get them so I don’t have to hide them somewhere?” Her eyes widened with horror, “WHAT? No we have to have the big reveal on Christmas morning!” Seriously? She’s 20. So when my younger daughter came to St. Nick’s, a tradition in our house to put your shoe outside your bedroom door for treats in the morning, I reminded her about her shoe the night before but she forgot to put it out. So while she was at school, I grabbed a boot, filled it up and put it by her door. She came home and raced upstairs, after I told her I had bailed her out and I had put her shoe out, she must have missed it. She came down with all of her treasures and said, “Silly elf” and I said, “Silly elf”. Sigh. I guess she isn’t ready to let go of what brings her joy this Christmas. I figure I’ll let her take the lead on this one and enjoy something that gives us a moment of connection during a time in her life when she’s trying so desperately at times to pull away. So I’ll play along one more Christmas and unwrap some joy for both of us.