Christmas memories

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Ah, the night before Christmas and all through the houses children were fighting not to go to bed in the hope of seeing Santa. At least that was the excuse my five-year-son Hunter was giving me. He wanted to talk to the big man about some gifts he really, really wanted. My favourite was his desire for a jet pack. He didn’t believe they that they don’t actually exist. We told him the technology wasn’t up to a real one but TV doesn’t lie at that age. We explained that if he were to use one as they appear on television that it would toast his hindquarters.

That lent itself to a few fart flambé and smoking underwear jokes that I won’t repeat here out of respect for Green Party leader Elizabeth May.
Then he wanted some of the candies I was setting aside. I explained they were bribes to Santa so I would get a really nice gift. Hunter then asked me quietly if I would bribe Santa for him too! But only if he was good and went to sleep. I said Santa doesn’t come and drop off presents while children are awake. That made sense, but Hunter still needed to be chased back to bed three or four times. All parents know that time of “I want a drink of water,” and, “I need to go the bathroom” and so on.

Then of course there is the early morning wake-up. I left the bedroom door partly open having tried to get up early on Christmas morning myself in my younger days. But that was way back then. After a certain age at home we’d open up the presents just after midnight so we could sleep in. Those days are thing of the past for next 15 or so years.

Just before 5 am I was awakened by a door being quietly opened. Yes, it was Hunter trying to get a look at whether or not Santa had arrived. I told him to join me as we were letting people sleep in until 6 am. I am the soul of generosity at this time of year. We talked for next hour about all kinds of things that dads and sons talk about. I also threw in a few homilies about sharing, being considerate to others, gentle versus forceful love and how to make and keep friends.

Then it was wake-up time. Holding back Hunter while grandma and mom got some coffee into them was a task and a half. He recognized every gift that was his by his name.

His joy and happiness was contagious and shared by everyone. This is the first year he has been so into Christmas. He was a shepherd at the church play. My son Declan played the baby Jesus. I have great memories of Christmas past but realized then and there that Christmas present was going to be a great memory. Christmas future I am sure will bring many more.

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