Skip to main content

Christmas Comes Once a Year

When I wake up, I can feel the heavy lump at the end of my bed. My left foot jiggles the weight so the bell on my stocking will jingle. It is Christmas morning! This is the single best day of the year in our house. My mother will be happy all day. On this morning, I wake in my brother's room as I have every Christmas day. We sleep in the same room so we can open our stockings right when we wake up. When they hear the bell jingle, they wake right up. Matthew, my twin, sits up and starts opening presents before he is even fully awake. Christopher, who is just a year and a few months older than us, keeps his eyes closed. "Don't tell me what everything is! I want to see for myself." The stockings, made by the Women's Exchange in New York City, stretch to accommodate a ridiculous amount of wrapped presents, yet there were still some that don't fit in.
The shear amount of presents in the stocking would be enough for many children alone. It is overindulgent and that is why it is the most exciting day of the year. I feel as though my heart won't fit in my chest. I can barely contain my excitement. I rip and tear, uncovering each thing I asked for or am surprised by. I am done quickly with my stocking and after a quick survey of the scene, I open some new chocolate and the orange in the toe of my stocking. It is a huge juicy Navel orange. I imagine Santa stopping for these oranges that could only be grown in Florida near where we will spend our Spring holiday.

It has only been fifteen minutes, but we cannot stand it any longer. We agree that Christopher will go wake our mother and stepfather. She responds best to him. I hear her ask what time it is and say in a voice thick with sleep, "Merry Christmas!" It is only 6:05. She says we must wait until 7:00. We know the answer, we heard it, but we still feel disappointed when Christopher comes back in to tell us. We decide to sit back on our beds amidst the wadded up, shredded wrapping paper and new toys to count and play with our treasure.

At 7:00, my mother appears at the door with her blonde hair brushed back, her glossy chapsticked lips, and a fluffy white bathrobe. She tells us she is going to start coffee and breakfast while my stepfather sets up the room. We know that it must be perfect before we can come in the room. My mother has worked hard on this, the most important day of the year for her. She likes everything to feel magical and insanely over the top. As my stepfather turns the lights on the tree and starts the train going round it, we hop up and down around the corner at the end of the bedroom hall. He shouts things like, "I wish Santa had come! Too bad there isn't anything out here!" We squeal and shout and hop some more. This is all part of the Christmas game. Santa always comes to our house, even the year my father told us that Santa wasn't real. He was mad at my mother that day, but it wasn't true!

Just when we can't stand it anymore, my mother comes out of the kitchen with Stollen, Coffee and Orange Juice and we know it is time. "Okay!," she says. "Merry Christmas!" At that, we race into the living room screaming so loudly I'm surprised neighbors never complained. It is Christmas and I am with my boys. This is the day of the year when nothing will disappoint us. We smile at each other happily and start unwrapping our gifts.

Comments

  1. I love this story of your Christmas growing up. In many ways like my own. My parents always took movies of us on Christmas morning, so Mom would hold the heavy row of lights, and Dad would have the camera as we were cued to walk in and take our first look at the loot. These movies are so precious to us.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love the immediacy with which you wrote this...may I share this with my kiddos as a mentor text?

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice to hear your memories of that special morning, Kimberley. Marry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

5 Ways to Help Gifted Kids Find Their Gifts

When I work with gifted kids, I'm amazed by their lack of understanding about what interests them. They know how to surf the net exhaustively for Youtube videos that make them laugh, but not what skills and practices further their interests.

Developing interests and passions is critical to these students. Many people out there tell me that this is not just for gifted kids, that their average developing child needs to know how to do this too. While of course I agree that this is true, I also think that typical academic, fine arts, and sports programs are available in most communities are enough to engage and motivate most kids. Not true of gifted children who become jaded, disinterested, and shut down quickly when a program doesn't meet their needs.
Most people think of gifted students as being prodigies who know exactly where their gifts lie. This couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, I often question if some children who are identified as gifted will ever find thei…

Writing Short, Day 1

I've taken a new position. I'm now an editor and writer at a company called We Are Teachers. I do some article writing for them, but I also write very short pieces designed for emails or giveaways. I didn't think I'd like this kind of work, but I do! It brings me back to the importance of knowing how to write short. I've talked about this before, but here's the book I'm referencing:
And thank you, Roy Peter Clark, for soothing my guilt about writing specifically for the Tweet. In “How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times,” this amazing writer praises Twitter’s 140-character limit as a tool for “intelligent cutting.”
So, as a way to get better at my new craft, I'm re-reading his book and actually doing the activities at the end of each chapter. The first: Practice writing plain sentences that contain a grace note, one interesting word that stands out. ___________________________________________
As did Proteus, I move forward into change. I figure, I …

DigiLit Sunday: Relationships

In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf..

On Sunday, I interviewed a woman named Julie Lindsay. She lives in Australia and started a company called Flat Connections. Her message to me was that Web 2.0 tools have changed the face of education. It brought the walls down so that we could all reach each other.

On  Monday, I read a book by Pernille Ripp, a teacher living in Wisconsin. In Reimagining Literacy through Global Connections, Ripp's message to me was to keep it simple when going global, the students just need to know they can connect and share who they are.

On Tuesday, I voxed Julieanne Harmatz. "Let's do this!" I said. "I've got a fourth grade, you've got a fifth. Mine is in Maine, yours is in California. Let's read together and share thoughts." She agreed.

On Wednesday, Julieanne emailed suggestions for three books she had multiple copies of. I book talked them to my students that afternoon.

On Thursday, I worked online with…