Sunday, December 25, 2005

After the Deluge

There will still probably be one more trip to the recycling bin tonight. The debris that has been created over the course of this day is substantial, but not wholly unexpected. My son feels very satisfied and comfortable with the new wave of toys, books and other amusements that have appeared in his house. He has officially pronounced this "The Best Christmas Ever." This is no faint praise, as he can remember most of the other nine for which he has been present.
It started at six thirty this morning - or to be more precise - 6:36 AM, as that was what he whispered to me when I asked him what time it was. I didn't have the courage to open my eyes to check for myself. I knew that my mother would have a chuckle at this, given the number of times my brothers and I had stormed into my parent's bedroom on Christmas morning, only to be shooed out to come back "at a more civilized hour." Civilization apparently views seven in the morning as the proper time to start opening stockings, followed by a quick break to take a shower and eat a Pop Tart. Then the real orgy of greed commences.
Each year, it becomes clear that if the emphasis was strictly on picking the one most appropriate and engaging gift, then the rest of them might fall by the wayside. Money, time and wrapping paper would be saved, and there would still be smiles all around. Still, there's no way to be certain, and being an only child allows a great deal more experimentation when it comes to getting things just right. This toy and that book are great, but that game looks like it would make him very happy.
But I know the truth. I'm buying all this stuff to make me happy. It makes me feel great every time he opens a present and grins, or says "Oh my gosh!" He stills says "thank you" and spends time poring over every gift as if it were the most important. He's a good kid. I got a lot of nice things too - books, a rugby shirt, a King Kong poster - but my favorite was the first one I got this morning: a hug from my son at six thirty in the morning, sorry, make that 6:36.

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