‘Twas the Freaking Night Before Christmas

Let me tell you, someone should really get organized around here before the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve.

Due to a really inconvenient tradition that I plan to change, Jason and I don’t wrap any of the kids’ presents until Christmas Eve. We sit in front of It’s a Wonderful Life and reminisce and talk and use brown paper and all that crap.

But AFN television doesn’t show that movie on Christmas Eve in Germany. After discussing our options we went ahead and popped in Dumb and Dumber instead.

It was not a good omen.

First dumb thing: Letting Harrison sleep on the couch. He was determined to catch the man in red (purple and white stripes last night). He’s a heavy sleeper, how much harm can he do?

By the time we’d dragged everything up and stuffed it under the tree–sweating and cursing the euro race car set while we unglamorously displayed the playschool toys–we wanted nothing more to do with Christmas. And just as we turned to leave the tree…


Oh yeah, it fell over.

After ten minutes of unsuccessfully trying to reposition it Harrison started to stir. Unfortunately the kid weighs about 300 pounds (he’s 8 and oh-so-built-like-his-father) so carrying him up stairs was not happening. Jason carried him to the bottom of the stairs then sent him to bed.

Dumb mistake number two, never wake a sleeping child in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve.

We finally secured the tree and made our way to bed around 1:00 am. It took me half an hour to put my mind to rest and fall asleep, and just as I was drifting off I heard…

“REX! Get up! It’s Christmas morning! Everyone wake up, he came he came he came!!”

Worst. Sound. Ever.

I shoved Jason out of bed to deal with the rising tide of trouble and listened as he tried to talk Harry down. “Son,” he said much more nicely than I would have, “It’s the middle of the night…”

“But Dad, I’m wide awake!” Oh holy holy night, someone get me a tranquilizer gun.

Somehow Jason convinced Harrison to go back to bed. Fifteen minutes later and I was finally fast asleep.

2:49 am.

You know when you’re the mom and you’re so dead asleep, but because you’re the mom it’s really all a big fake? That any moment one of your kids might make a sound and you’ll be up and running in .2 seconds?

So I’m mom sleeping, thinking I’m all dead to the world, and suddenly I hear this.


I know, that wouldn’t have woken you up but if you were listening just a little closer what you would have heard was the faintest, teensiest little ghost of a breath right next to your bed saying,” maaaaahm…” That breath knows it shouldn’t be waking you up, it knows you’re probably going to kill it, but it just can’t help itself.

And when you mentally jump from sleep and the kid breathing next to your ear says, “Um…can I play the Wii Santa left me?” You have to try really hard to not take off his head.

5:23 am.

“Wake up! Wake up! It’s 7:45 Mom, time for presents!” Yes, he still believes he can manufacture time to fit his schedule. This time Harrison had Rex with him and gosh darn it I thought I was going to kill someone.

By the time 7:00 am finally rolled around and we let the boys wake up the girls, I felt like I’d had about three minutes of consecutive sleep.

That much said, it was still a pretty fantastic Christmas. I so hope he believes next year.


  1. Holy crud i am soooooo glad that I am not the only one this happens to!!!!!!!

  2. That “maaahhhmmmm” sound is the Worst In The World! Especially because they are whispering it right in front of your nose!!!

    All in all though, it sounds like one you’ll always remember. tee, hee…

  3. Some Christmas Eves are worse than others. This one was bad that way. And my kids are BIG! They wanted to stay up and watch a movie — after having been to two family parties — and like you, I hadn’t wrapped a darn thing! Because my kids are older, next year I’m wrapping it when I buy it — then making a list so I remember what the heck I bought. Of course, I say “next year I’m…” a lot, so we’ll see.

  4. SO funny~!
    My husband started a tradition a few years ago. The night before he explains that no presents will be opened until after parents have had coffee, cinnamon rolls are done and one viewing of rudolph the red nosed reindeer. While watching the movie, stockings are allowed to be opened. So far its worked fabulosuly lol

  5. This post sounds like my house!! The “little breathing right next to your ear” comment reminded me of the time when my then 4 year old daughter would come in and stand next to my bed and just stare at me while I slept. Then she would just say,” I want to lay next to you.” So I would let her. So finally the last time she did it, she again just stood there staring..I knew this because I would have already awakened but wouldn’t open my eyes. So I decided to not respond to her when she just stood there and breathed heavily on me. I waited..and finally after what seemed like an hour, she turned and went back to bed. That was the end of it.

  6. I can TOTALLY relate to the line “it’s really all a big fake!” And I laughed so hard that my husband looked at me funny when I read about the “faintest, teensiest little ghost of a breath right next to your bed saying,” maaaaahm…” That breath knows it shouldn’t be waking you up, it knows you’re probably going to kill it, but it just can’t help itself.”
    How do you sum it up so perfectly and hilariously? Thanks for another great post of classic motherhood.