Tag Archives: Christmas Morning

Christmas Changes

Depending on the age of your little dudes, Christmas is a vastly different experience.

In general, the younger the little dudette, the earlier you get to awaken on Christmas morning. I used to be able to count on no more than six hours of sleep between Christmas Eve and Morning, if I was a very lucky dude, mostly because I had to stay up a little later to make sure and “help” Santa distribute presents and stuff stockings.

In the mornings, we’d hear the pounding of little feet racing back and forth in the hallway upstairs and one little dude ran to the bedroom of the next little dude, who ran to the next. And then they all tried to sneak downstairs with the subtlety of a meth-crazed elephant putting out flaming ducks*.

As they get older, things. . . change.

Since the youngest little dude now is 14, an official teenager, we’re not faced with such appallingly early wake-up times most days. In fact, my wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Getting Her Beauty Sleep If I Know What’s Good For Me, and I were able to get up on our own around 8 in the morning, walk the dog and still sit down to share a bit of that instant Christmas classic: Breaking Bad. (Because nothing says Christmas like the story of a milquetoast chemistry professor turning into an ego-crazed, blood-soaked methamphetamine dealer with delusions of grandeur.)

Instead of racing down the stairs, the young dudes stumbled downstairs, slowly, peering around with sleep-clogged eyes, running hands through tousled hair and croaking through coma mouth in a ritualistic, “Ugh. mumblemumble-orning mumblemumble.”

I won’t say the young dudes actually took their time opening presents, letting each person go in turn, remarking on the wonderful way Aunt Someone took the time to pick out just the right shade of puce for the sweater she knitted each of them. Still, there were occasional pauses in there that didn’t come from them accidentally inhaling a floating piece of impromptu confetti drifting through the air.

Christmas coming right before the end of the old year and the beginning of the new, offers the perfect time for reflection, for considering how things have changed. I’m not one to focus on the past, to talk about how things were always better when I was younger, or when the young dudes were, in fact, young, but it is interesting to see how they have adapted to the passing years.

It’s taking these moments of reflection that enable parents to come to terms with the fact that, while they’re horrifyingly impersonal as gifts, teenagers really do want gift cards so they can get exactly what they want for themselves. I wish it weren’t the case, but there it is.

Time, as is its wont, passes. The black pencil writes and, having writ, passes on. Stuff happens.

And you will not be able to stop it, so you’d better find a way to enjoy it. The sooner the better, dudes. The sooner the better.


*Why do ducks have flat feet? To stamp out forest fires.
Why do elephants have flat feet? To stamp out flaming ducks.

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One Final Christmas Post And Then We’re Done Until Next Year. Probably.

by Richard

Here’s hoping you had a wonderful Christmas, dudes. Or, if you didn’t celebrate Christmas, then at least had a good weekend. I think we can always hope for that.

Even beyond the giddy glee of opening presents on Christmas morning, the young dudes and I had a great day on Christmas. My wife, known to all of us as She Who Must Be Suffering Sometimes, Putting Up With Us, probably not as much.

See, we all had a wonderful time in the morning. We all agreed no one would get up before 8 am. Well, when I say we agreed, I really mean She Who Must Be Hanging On By Her Fingernails, and I threatened the young dudes with death, dismemberment and ignominious anonymous burial in a shallow grave somewhere, should we be awakened by them before the aforementioned hour. Also we’d start taking away presents given to them. Not sure which threat worked, but we did get to sleep until 8 am so that was nice.

Other than the tie forced on given to me by my sister and her family, the best gift I got was the new Amazon Kindle. It’s not much different from the last, but it does have the last Kindle beat in one important aspect: It’s new. I always lose my saving throw against the shiny new thing.

Non-materially based, the best part of the day was watching the rest of my family open presents and getting to see the joy on their faces as they opened presents I picked out for them. It’s always good to guess right. I think part of that is that when I guess right, it sort of confirms that I still know a little something about how their interior lives work. The young dudes and wife aren’t strangers to me, yet.

After a fantastic, traditional dinner of lasagna and spiral-cut ham and more present opening with my fantastic in-laws and wonderful sister-in-law and her beau, the immediate Jones family hit the theater to watch a very Christmas-y movie: True Grit, starring Jeff Bridges. I’ll be back with more on that later, but, for now, let’s just say that the remake has made the original version useful only as a curiosity. It was fantastic.

When we came out of the movie, it had started to snow and didn’t stop until the morning after. The best part, though, was getting to watch the Dr. Who Christmas special on the actual Christmas day instead of surfing the net, looking for badly filmed copies of copies and hoping we could understand it. The young dudes and I are huge Dr. Who fans and that was a great episode. Full of fun, quick, clever dialogue, great moments and more than a little silliness, specifically being towed through the air in a carriage pulled by a shark. Sense? No. Wonderful? Oh, my, yes.

And a wonderful couple of days after Christmas to you dudes as well.

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Christmas Eve

by Richard

I love Christmas Eve. Maybe even more than Christmas morning when I almost always get buried under a pile of crumpled up wrapping paper.

To me, Christmas Eve is special. It’s full of traditions, silly and obnoxious and wonderful traditions that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I know a few families that like to travel on Christmas and spend their holidays seeing the sights, but I’m not like that.

I love being able to sit down with my family and share good times and laughs over a pot full of boiling oil or — in these more health-conscious days — boiling chicken broth and do that fondue. We’ve been doing fondue in our family for Christmas Eve since I was a young dude and we revived it for the young dudes in our house.

Now, even when we want to switch to something new and try a different dinner, we get shouted down — loudly — by Sarcasmo, Zippy the Monkey Boy and Hyper Lad. They love the fondue. A tradition passed down to another generation.

I also love reading “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by America’s greatest novelist — Dr. Seuss, and “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Of course, by this time, I’m probably the only one who still loves reading those Christmas classics. I know Zippy the Monkey Boy — professional hater of just about everything — keeps up a vocal criticism all the way up until I pull out the book and start reading.

He’s vocally opposed before and after the story. During, however, I like to think he’s as spellbound as the rest of us while caught inside Dr. Seuss’s greatest creation. Of course, he could just be learning to sleep with his eyes open, but I’m going for the positive.

The best part, though, is after everyone has gone to bed. That’s when I get to have some quiet time, sitting in a chair, watching the lights blink on the Christmas tree and realizing all over again just what a great live I’ve been lucky enough to live. It’ll probably be a bit different this year as — with a busted wing — I’ll probably need a little help from a Jolly Old Elf in filling stockings, but even that will be fun.

Here’s to your Christmas traditions, dudes. If you celebrate, may you have a wonderful night and a great day tomorrow. If you don’t, I’m still hoping you have a great couple of days.

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