My options were not many, I could remain curled up on my right side, my back to Leslie and Jenna who I know was standing face to Leslie's lying face, and feign sleep. That I knew would not work, being the lightest sleeper in the house, I knew that Leslie knew I was awake already. I could pop out of bed and say, "Let's go!" But I knew Leslie needed more that twelve seconds to get into consciousness. I opted for marital peace and child appeasement, "Jenna why don't you snuggle in between Mommy and me for a few minutes and then we will wake up Blaire and see if Santa came."
"He came. I looked and he came. I can't wait any more," stated as facts she crawled in between us and slowly brought us into Christmas morning 2008. After my imposed fifteen minute waiting period I went down and got Blaire and brought her up into the bed and by now anxiety and angst were barely contained.
I told the girls, "I just hope Santa brought me some cookies, that is all I want." Blaire displaying wisdom beyond her years, beyond many people's years, said, "you all ready got what you want for Christmas Daddy, we are all here together!"
Santa did in fact bring me cookies, a box of Animal Crackers with a little string so I could carry them on my wrist. But deep down in my stocking was something special, a can of Easy Cheese! Oh joy!
When I was a kid our family vacations were often camping trips in the wilds of Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri. Later when we moved east we had a couple of vacations where we chartered a sailboat for a week and Mom, Dad and the three kids would share thirty odd feet of cramped space on the ocean blue. Camping trips and sailboat charters have a few things in common: packing in your food you will be eating all week as stores are not abundant and lack of refrigeration. My mom would pack Easy Cheese and crackers for cocktail hour to accommodate the limited space and the beauty of not needing to keep the Easy Cheese refrigerated. Our kids know that vacations are official when Dad breaks out the Easy Cheese and Ritz crackers. Santa gave me a vacation in a can!
Later in the morning as we moved through the Wii Santa dropped down the chimney, with care, and the puzzles and games, and the clothes. Leslie handed me a gift bag with something inside wrapped in tissue, it was from my brother, the girls "Unkey-Monkey" and his wife Diane (Di-Di). Glory be to Christmas it was a bottle of Woodford Reserve bourbon!
I have come to realize that having daughters makes birthdays and Christmases pretty easy in many respects. Mainly this is because they like clothes and jewelry, no matter what their age and no matter what the price range. If it is pretty, cute, sentimental, colorful and the right size they are pretty happy. Give my daughter a furry black vest with pink piping and a plastic faux ruby necklace and she is a princess. Boys on the other hand are very picky depending on their age. First they do not like clothes for any occasion. Second you have to make sure the toy or game you are getting them is age appropriate and not a "baby" toy, or one that is perhaps a few years past them and they will either cut themselves or someone else, or blow something up. Boys and gift giving is very difficult.
For me Easy Cheese and Bourbon make a pretty complete Christmas, throw in the Animal Crackers and I have my dinner and dessert for next Thursday when I watch the Oklahoma Sooners thrash the Florida Gators for the BCS Championship. Yep, Easy Cheese on a Ritz and a sip of Woodford Reserve is a pretty good vacation.