Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Memories

“Go to bed kids! I don’t want to see any of you until the morning!” said my mother excitedly.
We had just finished our annual Christmas play, put on by all of us siblings. I was the producer, director, and I even acted in it. After many years of doing the same play, you’d think we could execute it perfectly. However, that was certainly not the case…at least not with a hyper, rambunctious, 6 year old brother in the house. He always managed to add his own “comedic” lines to the script. But as long as we finished the play with baby Jesus (aka my youngest baby brother) in the manger and the wise men bowing before him, it was a success in my mind.
As my sister and I lay in our beds staring up at the Christmas lights hanging from the ceiling, we talked of the play and the presents we hoped to get in the morning.
“Aren’t you glad I convinced you to be Mary again this year Chelle?” I said patronizingly. She had wanted to steal my part as the Angel. It was my part since my mom taught us to act out the story when I was six.
“Yeah, I guess. Do you think Mom and Dad will get us a golf cart this year?” We asked for one ever since we moved out to the country. All the neighbor kids were driving around in their golf carts while we were riding bikes. So not cool.
Suddenly a whiney voice interrupted our discussion, “but Mooooooommmmmmm, I have to gooooo peeeeee! Can I cooooome ooooout?” Of course it was none other than the fourth child, Luke. He was always getting into trouble, or candy…but mostly trouble.
“Ok, but hurry up and go back to bed!” My mother yelled as she quickly threw a blanket over the things on the floor
My sister and I had already gone to the bathroom twice in preparation for being banished to our rooms for the rest of the night. We even brought a stash of chocolate chip cookies, some chocolate milk, blankets, and Santa hats. It was all my idea of course. Being the oldest makes you good like that. I mean I did have 12 years of experience under my belt!
Bang! Bang!
Suddenly a heavy object was slammed against the wall adjoining our room and the boys.

“Quit it boys” we yelled as we banged our fists against the wall.

Only laughter was heard on the other side.
Knowing my brothers, the object was probably Luke being body slammed by my 10 year old brother Matt. Wrestling was a favorite pastime of theirs. Chelle and I never understood why Luke even bothered to go up against Matt. Just the day before, he was almost severely injured (which happened quite often) because Matt propelled him with his feet from his own bed to Luke’s on the other side of the room. This normally wouldn’t be a big deal, but there were tangled Christmas lights hanging from every direction. Their room was basically a disaster waiting to happen. Matt’s aim was off a little this time and Luke went flying into the Christmas lights hanging from the fan. To this day, I am still astonished that the fan didn’t come crashing down on his head. Oh, and if you doubt this story it was captured on tape. Matt pretty much had a video camera strapped to his hand at all times. He even showered with it. O wait, he never showered. Never mind. I am just kidding. I am not kidding.
Soon after this commotion, our conversation was interrupted by a gentle knock on the door.
“Settle down kids. It’s time to go to sleep.”
That voice meant business. We didn’t dare go against one of our Dad’s “suggestions.” We knew better, well Luke and Chelle were still learning…but that’s why they had Matt and me.
“Ok Daddy. Merry Christmas!” I took it upon myself to speak for the others, being the oldest and all.
But were we able to go to sleep? Of course not! It was Christmas Eve! However, we put on an “Adventures in Odyssey” tape to aid us in our endeavors. (“Adventures in Odyssey” are awesome radio dramas for kids put out by Focus on the Family.) We listened to one almost every night anyway.
About 3 episodes later, we all were asleep in our matching Christmas pj’s. Or at least Chelle and I had them on. I can’t speak for the boys. (There are some things that I don’t care to know!)
Before I knew it, I was wide awake at 4:30 am. I checked the clock just to be sure. Yes, I was in the clear. (My parents, I mean Santa, went to bed around 2:00 am.) I would have woken up my sister so that she could go look at the presents but I had learned not to get near her in the wee hours of the morning. She was very volatile at such hours (and still is that way). So I then crept into the living room alone. The warm glow of the lights on the Christmas tree shone upon the myriads of gifts. We each had a spot on the couch for our presents and I excitedly ran over to mine. It was a beautiful sight.
I always sat there for a few minutes to bask in the wonderful magic of Christmas morning. There was nothing like it and there still isn’t. After A few minutes I galloped back to bed with a heart full of joy.
Though I may not be able to sleep in my bed at my parents (actually now it is my 7 year old sister, Kathryn’s), and though I may not hear my brothers wrestling the night before, I will still be wide awake in the wee hours of the morning. I will still be full of joy, thankful for Christmas memories with my family and for ones yet to be made.

It is only 10 days until Christmas!


Anonymous said...

So...this was hilarious. It made me recollect many memories of childhood Christmases. I loved the "Adventures in Odyssey" mention.

It's funny, I think Ash and I are opposite you and Michelle. Ash is so not the morning person, as I'm sure you realized from past interactions...ha!

-Amber Lathrop

jenchristine said...

Haha! We LOVED "Adventures in Odyssey." I think we listened to them all! Robbie and Katie still do.

You and Ash are the opposites of me and my sister. Seriously! Michelle is so much like Ashley sometimes!

I hope you all have a great Christmas! And I will let you know about the wedding today sometime. I have to get up with Cass first.

Anonymous said...

Jen...that's cool on the RSVP. Regardless, rumor has it that Ash and I will be having lunch with you and Cass when we swing through Dothan on our way to Jax from Hattiesburg :)



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