Last night we enjoyed Christmas Eve service at Vintage Fellowship as a family. This Advent season we have been simply telling the story of birth of Jesus. We’ve also been sharing our own Christmas stories. Some have been funny, some have brought me to tears. I had the opportunity to share one of my own stories last night.
When I was very small the rule for Christmas morning was that my brother my sister and I were allowed to get out of bed at 6am and open our stockings. We were not allowed to wake our parents until 6:30. I guess that extra half hour of sleep was more valuable to them than watching us ransack our stockings. As we got older and Christmas morning began to lose a bit of its luster, my mom started looking for ideas to keep up the magic. Before the days of Pinterest, she relied on stories from other moms and probably some magazine articles to guide her on her journey. One year she mentioned that she had read that some families made the excitement last by letting everyone open a single present every hour.
That idea was quickly vetoed.
What happened when it was your turn to open up your yearly pack of new underwear while your big sister got to play with her new Diskman for an hour? Have an underwear fashion show? I think not. Determined to do SOMETHING to keep her remaining two children living at home safely pinned under her iron thumb of wonder and magic, she decided that we would hold off on opening anything until after we had eaten a huge hearty breakfast she would cook Christmas morning.
Nothing until she saw a table full of happy plates, emptied of bacon, eggs and biscuits and gravy. Then, her beautiful Rockwellian family would retire around the Christmas tree to enjoy the rest of Christmas morning after a proper level of built up anticipation. One thing she did not count on. Me. Her youngest little angel. It seemed I did not NEED the extra encouragement to be excited for Christmas morning. I was dying to dive into the pile of glittering paper and bows. She disregarded my pleas to at least open stockings. She brushed off my claims of not feeling well enough to eat breakfast.
The anticipation was too much for me.
My nervous system couldn’t handle the strain.
And I barfed.
The next year we began a family tradition that has survived for over 20 years. We woke up and, to keep my mind occupied, I made cinnamon rolls. From a can. 14 minutes of bake time being about the maximum amount of cooking time my nerves could handle. Cinnamon rolls, followed by stockings and then presents around the tree. This year, I got ambitious and made cinnamon rolls from scratch. They were delicious and I didn’t even throw up.