Christmas means many things to many people. But to young boys and girls it mostly means Santa and presents, an increase in sweetie availability, and a break from normal routines; and our boys are no exception to this.
One thing we have learned from our limited experience of being parents at Christmas, this year is our sixth, is that it pays to spread it out a bit. I remember when I was little there was a huge expectation that built and built and built until I could hardly stand it. I used to lie in bed on Christmas Eve under heavy bed clothes shivering away (we used to go to my grandparents, who did not have central heating, in usually freezing Northern England), waiting ‘for him to come’. There was a massive opening frenzy and then, well it was all over; and I did not know what to play with first.
With the boys we have a more staged approach over a few days. This began when we merged two Christmas cultures, Karen’s German Christmas of opening presents on Christmas Eve; and mine of opening them on Christmas Day. This year it seems to be stretching out to four days with my family on the 23rd and Karen’s on the 26th. I much prefer it this way and, I think, so do the boys. They get a chance to look and play with their presents at a more leisurely pace and, well, last year then both slept until 8am on Christmas morning. Here’s hoping for the same this year, it’s a very long day that starts in the middle of the night.