As I lay there sweating in my boxers and tank top my mind raced with images of the unassembled VTech race track and Peppa Pig’s Train my heart suddenly stops as I realized the countless hours of construction that were ahead of me. Santa decided he’d wait until Christmas morning to put everything together.
Suddenly I snap completely awake, look out the window, and see a glimmer of sunlight on the horizon.
“Holy eggnog… It’s Christmas morning!” As an aside… Egg nog sucks. Who says “Man I’m thirsty. I want to drink something that tastes like eggs and looks like… well I’ll leave that up to your imagination, but it looks disgusting. I’ve heard many arguments from Steph for why eggnog is the perfect holiday drink… “It’s a Christmas tradition.” So is going to midnight mass… Anyone go to midnight mass lately?… Didn’t think so. Then there’s the worst argument of all… “You can get wasted off eggnog”… You know what else you can get wasted off of? Any other liquid on the planet if you add alcohol to it.
But I digress… Let the merry mayhem commence.
Everyone is up and it’s time for “some assembly required.” Regardless of navigating poorly-written instructions and realizing I have 17 left over pieces when I was done putting everything together… there are few things more satisfying than watching your kid tear into his gifts, wide-eyed with wonder and joy.
You work hard to provide for your family and it feels good to make your kid happy. However, as I sat with a cup of coffee and surveyed the the damage from countless opened boxes and enough wrapping paper to wallpaper my house I realize 15 family members are about to Cousin Eddie my Christmas Vacation. We all know XMAS can get a little chaotic. So it’s all about keeping the crazy under wraps… And that my friends is a fine art.
This year we decided to forgo a Christmas tradition (unbeknownst to me)… No presents for everyone. We were moving towards the 21st century gift giving event: The Secret Santa. I was not happy, but decided to play along (I had no choice) and I was like a soldier on a mission, and I will not be denied.
For today I am out to hunt the most elusive and fantastic of all the beasts in the world (Just call me Newt Scamander… Harry Potter reference anyone?!!). . .
Today I will find my Secret Santa.
As my family begins to filter into the house, the AC is pumping on high like its a mid-August afternoon (Mind you its 73 degree this Christmas Day) and I begin to get suspicious. My sister chooses that very moment to walk past me and I find myself forced to put on an sly smile, gesturing half-heartedly with the empty mug in one hand. It irks me to have to resort to such measures: pretending to get a refill from the Keurig just for an excuse to stake out the kitchen where most of the family is beginning to congregate.
I had no choice to stalk out these people. I had to get myself amped up somehow for this Christmas tragedy they called Secret Santa.
Maybe a little background here would be useful. When I was first exposed to this concept a few years at school, I’ll admit I was rather intrigued. I thought it might be cool to see what kind of things people in my office thought I might like. I mean it can’t be that hard to figure out a Green Bay Packers keychain or Harry Potter bumper sticker would be perfect. Then I realized I, the ultimate gift giver would be able to uncover some secret about the person I’d be buying for would be amazing. This whole thing became a strangely exhilarating experience.
That was until Secret Santa invaded my house… Bah Humbug.
But either way here we are… And I will find this person responsible for my gifts this year. I stalked my prey. Walked in and out of gifts… Shook a few with my name on them and even tried to get Jax to do some spying for me. Too bad he was surrounded by a Toys-R-Us warehouse-like present pile. I knew at that point I was on my own.
Here’s the thing… This story doesn’t have a great ending. As a matter of fact it’s sort of boring… Somewhere in between cleaning 21 pounds of turkey off the floor and pouring my eighth glass of wine I gave up on my quest. I just couldn’t invest the time I thought I was willing to invest. I had to believe the person who was evading me like I was Tom Hanks and they were Leonardo DiCaprio would reveal themselves in the end. (I guess in all reality that’s the point of this Secret Santa mess isn’t it?!!)
So that ends another Christmas Day… Another fun filled family event and another day that I was able to enjoy my son as he happily played with his presents. I hope everyone else had a very Merry Christmas… And I hope the mayhem was manageable, the smiles were wide, and the laughter was loud.