Christmas Day At The Wenzel Digs
The day started early, but not as early as in years past. In years past, the kids have been up throughout the night at 1am, 3am, 3:30am, 4:45am and 6am to run downstairs and check to see if Santa has come and then double, triple, quadruple, quintuple check to make sure all previous checks were not deceiving. This year, my honeys and I threatened to turn the doorknobs around and lock them from the hallway (FYI to parents of toddlers, this may buy you some sanity when listening ears seem to be an impossible expectation. Not that I know from personal experience or anything). We did shut their doors. Multiple times on Christmas Eve (one’s door more than the other’s. and shockingly, it wasn’t the typical trouble maker’s door). One of the dogs kept guard between their rooms and I slept very little, keeping an eye on the hallway waiting to bust one of the kids sneaking out and attempting to climb the higher than normal gate at the top of the stairs.
A text came in from my Dad at roughly 6:25am that he was in our garage awaiting entry into the house. As I was going down the stairs, I heard the girl child’s alarm go off and then everyone was up to see what Santa brought and open other presents. My Dad had wanted to take us out to Waffle House for breakfast, but the kids asked to stay home. So we cooked up dozens of banana/blueberry/whole wheat pancakes, scrambled asiago eggs and turkey bacon. Dad was in charge of the bacon and I asked him to overdo a fair amount to guarantee the kids wouldn’t eat all of it.
Before lunch time, the house was filled with family coming and going. And coming and going. All with more presents coming in and even bigger smiles from the kids. New pajamas were put on over existing jammies. Scarf Wrapping 101 was tested. And paper was continually picked up and put into overflowing bags for recycling.
A hike was taken. Food was prepared. The dishwasher ran three times before the day was out. An inordinate amount of food was pushed from fridge to cutting boards to bowls and ovens before hitting various tables and counters. Snacks were placed within easy reach while cut-throat games of Banagrams went down. There were multiple cheaters at the table over the course of the games. I won’t name names or embarrass the guilty parties.
Friends came and family left. Before and after dinner. The dinner table was still cram packed with ham and fresh veggies and a delicious cranberry dish my sister-in-law left (note to self: get the recipe from her!) before a gingerbread village was dismantled and Christmas cookies consumed. Games of Banagrams continued into the late evening after the kids went to bed and family left before our friends walked home. It was a long, but so enjoyably fulfilling day. I don’t remember the last time I had the pleasure of giving my Dad so much grief. Or receiving a similar dose in return. Of seeing non-stop smiles on my children’s faces and hearing them say, “This is THE best Christmas! Ever!” I mostly agree, but believe the day would have only been perfect for me if all of the grandparents were in the house.
For the most part, I lived in the moment and enjoyed ever minute of it. My camera was in my hand very little throughout the day. And my phone was not within reach, so I missed a few calls from family scattered across the country. Today, the house is slowly returning to a cleaner state. Homes are being found for all the incoming gifts and bags and boxes of older possessions are being collected to give to friends with younger kids or to charity. New Years cards have been addressed, but still need to be stamped and sealed before going out with the mail tomorrow. I have smelling salts for the family members who will be beyond shock at the thought of receiving them this year.
And I’m here. Just enjoying the peace and quiet of the house while I work on final album revisions for one of my lovely couples who married earlier this year.
And just because I continue to get private messages like this from people who are not friends with my grooms and don’t know them in real life, “I have hair standing up on my arms. I just finally got to go through the photos. They are unbelievable. NOT lying. I have tears down my cheeks. HOLY Awesomeness.” I think you should go check out Matt + Mike’s blog posts on their hands ceremony, full wedding day post and slideshow if you missed any of them. Their day was pretty amazing and you might just feel like you were there, too.