The following are just some random Christmas morning memories.
Waking up mom and dad (oh the horror).
Little boys are usually too excited to sleep well on Xmas eve. My brothers and I would wake up Xmas day before the sun and want to immediately wake up my parents and begin the chaos of opening presents. I always felt a little bad waking up my parents so early in the morning because on the other 364 days of the year waking mom and dad up super early would spell trouble. So with the element of risk in the air my brothers and I would find creative ways to wake them up. One or more years I would wake up everyone by playing christmas carols on the piano which was probably lovely. One year my younger brother and I decided to simply run up and down the hall screaming as loud as we possibly could. It seemed like a funny idea at the time but my parents didn’t see it that way.
Imagine getting jarred awake to the blood curdling screams of your own children and having to process what might be the cause of such vocal anguish. Perhaps the house was on fire. Maybe the dog was dead in the living room. Maybe a thief had broken into the house. Or maybe you were just the parents of some very hyper boys on Christmas morning. I’m certain they would have preferred the piano.
Look what I got!
Opening presents is so much fun. When you are a kid and toys are cheap you get tons of presents and you spend a long time opening them all up. One year in the fury of opening gifts and everyone ooh-ing and ahhh-ing each others’ prizes my younger brother Adam took it upon himself to open just any ol’ gift that was close to him. When nobody was looking he unwrapped a gift that was clearly for someone else. It was a beautiful and delicate piece of jewelry.
Everyone was distracted looking at something my mother had just unwrapped when Adam caught everyone’s attention by exclaiming, “Look what I got!” He held the necklace up victorious. It was so funny and we all had a good laugh except for Adam who was too young at the time to realize what was going on. Actually, I’m not sure I thought it was funny, but I knew that it was not his gift and I probably did one of those little kid gasps intended to show that you know that your brother has done something he shouldn’t have. This gasp is great at alerting parents of trouble. You can tattle on someone without saying a word.
We used to meet up with our cousins on Thanksgiving. When we were kids aunts and uncles would buy gifts for their nieces and nephews. I’m not sure why we stopped doing that. One of the last years that we did a cousin gift exchange my cousin Kyle kept referring to the gifts as “pleasants.” It was pretty darn cute. He was always saying, “can we open the pleasants now?” It got the point where everyone kept egging him on about the gifts just so we could hear him innocently call them pleasants.
When the big moment came he excitedly tore away the wrapping paper and shouted, “It’s just what I’ve always wanted!!!!…what is it?” The room erupted in laughter. My parents had put several smaller gifts in a box and wrapped it up. So when he first unwrapped his gift it was likely just a plain brown packing box…just what he always wanted!
If my memory serves me correctly, my brothers and I each got a velcro wallet with a $5 bill inside.
Sorry, I thought it was garbage.
My younger brother Adam is often the subject of many great Christmas memories told around our dinner table during the holidays. He was notoriously bad at wrapping gifts using copious amounts of paper and tape. He would also spell everyone’s name wrong on the little to/from labels. I remember teasing him relentlessly about labeling a gift “Timithy” with a giant sharpie marker.
One year when we were in high school a friend named Matt lived with us for about a year. We included him in our Christmas just like he was one of our own family and my brothers and I all had fun getting him a gift. At the very end of all the gift unwrapping Adam asked Matt, “hey aren’t you going to unwrap my gift?” Matt replied, “oh, this right here? Sorry, I thought this was garbage.”
It’s true (and hilarious) that the gift was so horribly wrapped that next to all the discarded and torn wrapping paper it just looked like a wad of garbage. Of course we all laughed uncontrollably and I guarantee you that story is told every year in our household. We’ll never forget the year that Matt confused his gift with a wad of trash! The best part is that my sister in-law, Lyndsay, enjoys telling these stories as much as we do and SHE WASN’T EVEN THERE!
Why don’t you guys use those sleds?
One year, some length of time after Christmas…maybe a month later…we had a big snow storm and it was the kind of blizzard that inspires people to go sledding. As we gathered up unmatched boots and gloves we started pondering what we’d do for a sled. My parents asked us, “why don’t you guys use those new sleds we bought you for Christmas.” In unison we responded, “we didn’t get any sleds for Christmas.”
5 minutes later my dad emerged from the hall closet with a few brightly colored plastic sleds that he’d hidden in a garment bag and completely forgot about when putting presents under the tree.
Did I catch a Niner in there?
Our family dog was named Niner. We got her on 9.9.89 and that’s how she got the name. She wasn’t allowed to be in the carpeted areas of the house. Only the video game room and the kitchen and the basement (and of course outside). She would usually sneak out onto “the carpet” in the middle of the night and sleep right in front of my younger brother’s door.
We always set up our tree in either the dining room (adjacent to the kitchen) or the living room which was separate from the rest of the house. One year when we had Xmas morning and the tree in the dining room, Niner was just chilling out in the kitchen watching us gather to read the Gospel story and sing a carol together. She seemed to be okay when we were reading from the Bible, but when we started to sing carols she really wanted to be with us, so she layed on the ground half in the kitchen and half on the carpet and started the funniest looking army crawl out to the dining room. It was like she was trying to be sneaky but in plain sight. We couldn’t even finish singing our song because we started laughing so hard. We gave her the okay and she came bounding over to us and spent Christmas morning with her family on “the carpet.”
I hope you get the chance to have your own funny stories remembered this year. Or maybe you just need to create some new ones. Either way, merry Christmas!