When you’re a kid Christmas is easy. You are so excited for the big day. Everything is larger than life and so much Muchier! The lights are brighter, the days and nights are longer, the food is tastier, the music is filled with dreams of sleigh bells and falling snow. Then the big day arrives and you rush into the living room to the Christmas tree and the gifts under it and the packed full stockings and all the much awaited anticipations and hopes and Christmas Wish List Letters to Santa having obviously paid off big time and with joyous and free abandon you tear and rip into paper that was lovingly wrapped down to every last bow tied and ribbon wound but no matter, it’s Christmas and you’re a kid and the main objective is getting to the treasure hidden behind the Reindeer wrapping paper and with squeals of excitement you find you got it! The gift you wanted most…whatever that was…and after the frenzy is over in a flourish…a matter of minutes after all the shopping and waiting in line and searching out for the very best deals and returning and purchasing the same gift elsewhere because you found it for 20.00 less and after sneaking the parcels into the house and carefully cutting the paper to fit and caringly wrapping the presents and hiding the toys and staying up late to help Santa place everything strategically under the tree…not forgetting his Bloody Mary to buoy him up…oops I mean milk and cookies…for the rest of his midnight ride you fall exhausted but accomplished into bed where visions of sugar plums can dance in your head until the pitter patter of padded feet hit the hall floor and you know it’s time to run interception…camera in one hand and coffee in the other…days, weeks, maybe even months of planning and prep and it’s all open and over in a matter of minutes. As a kid, it’s easy, you open your toys and start playing. But what happens when your kids are no longer running down the hall before you in padded footy pjs? What do you do with the rest of your Christmas when there’s nothing to assemble or read directions to or put batteries in because you need the tiniest of screwdrivers and only dads have those. What to do when you open gifts with kids who aren’t kids any more but young adults that you really really really wish you could turn back into toddlers and sit on the floor playing legos with or Hungry Hungry Hippos or Don’t Spill The Beans! I can’t imagine it’s much easier on them either. Those memories of Christmases past still pretty fresh in the memory well but here they are in between childhood and adulthood and trying to navigate the waters. My own kids 14 and 20, handled it beautifully yesterday though, they really did. Sky was so convinced Christmas Eve that he would still be awake before us and was planning on waking us up to get at Christmas. I knew that I would as usual be the first one up and I was. I showered and dressed and drank coffee with peace and Christmas magic surrounding me. I was up for hours before anyone else and that was ok too. Wayne got up next and we sat together and drank coffee and talked and waited and waited and waited. I made a change in our routine by making breakfast before we opened presents since everyone was sleeping past 8 am. I made White Chocolate Chip Pancakes and plain pancakes and fried up livermush and bacon and had eggs on the side too. After the dishes were done which I did in five minutes flat! I timed it! We…Sky and me passed out the prettily wrapped presents and the unveiling began but you know what I noticed? The frenzy was gone. The unwrapping was done with care deliberately taking time with each and every gift as if to savor the moment like you would a really good piece of chocolate. They took their time and marveled at the gifts they seemed genuinely surprised and grateful to receive. It was awesome! Sky, as a little boy wanted to leave his toys under the tree as long as possible and play with them on the living room floor for days before taking them to his room. Yesterday, he was the first to gather his loot and start taking it to his room! Rainy took longer. I had to redo the kitchen counters a little to make room for her very own coffee pot. One of those that brews just one cup at a time. But now I like the kitchen so much better! So, our day played out easily…I did most of my cooking the day before so all I had to do was reheat the 23 pound turkey and green beans and corn and made from scratch sweet potato casserole and creamed potatoes too and get out the deviled egg boats and the cranberry sauce and pull out the yeast rolls and voila! lunch and dinner was ready. I got to chill yesterday after trying to figure out what to do with my day. I made some art, finished up some gifts, got art ready to ship to Conn. today or tomorrow at the latest. I drank lots of coffee, looked at a recipe book, and even knitted! It took me a while to recalibrate to this new way of Christmas but I think it was fine…maybe next year a little Christmas Day hike with a picnic? I like the sound of that a lot! So, maybe this is going to be easier than I thought. So, the kids are so little any more, big deal, we can still have fun, we can still play games and go for walks (which we did do yesterday and it was nice) we can drink coffee and eggnog and listen to music and reminisce strolling down memory lane with their little hands in mine…Y’all try to meet me back here tomorrow at the barefoot home for Peace Love Art and hopefully a much shorter read! Right? lol Love love love y’all!!!