By James Peek
Some of my fondest Christmas memories are from my childhood. I’d lie in bed on Christmas Eve, trying to sleep, but completely awake. (Who can sleep when there are presents under the tree?!) One year in particular really stands out. I wanted a stereo of my own. But not just any stereo, a boom box with detachable speakers – to bump L.L. Cool J and Heavy D outside for everyone to enjoy! When I woke up that morning, I was given a bike instead of the stereo. Don’t get me wrong, the bike was cool, but it didn’t allow me to bump my music. Being ten years old, I sulked a little. That was until my mom and dad told me to grab something that had fallen on the side of the couch. To my surprise, there was my boom box, along with two CDs: Another Bad Creation and Cameo — what you know ‘bout that?! I loved that stereo so much. I actually kept it until I blew the speakers in the military!
Now I have a wife and three little girls to create new memories with. Throughout the month of December we do the normal things, like Christmas performances at school and going to see Santa. My wife spends her time baking for everyone in the family. What’s better than homemade breads, cookies, and brittle? The best part about my wife’s baking is that everyone in our house likes to help, which is nice because we spend time together creating something good. But nothing compares to those two days of excitement!
Christmas Eve starts with a nice dinner and usually some sort of Christmas movie. The kids run around, bursting with anticipation. All that can be heard is talk of what Santa might bring them in the night. We then read “The Night before Christmas” – a yearly tradition. Our night doesn’t end here as it usually takes till midnight for the girls to actually fall asleep. As you can imagine, there is a lot of going up and down the stairs, and tucking kids back into bed. “I have to go to the bathroom.” “I can’t sleep.” “I’m thirsty.” This is heard for hours. As parents all we can say is, “Go to sleep!”
My kids waking up on Christmas Day is my favorite part.Seeing their faces when they see their gifts under the tree is like nothing else in the world. Regardless of what they get, they are thankful and happy for each and every gift. It helps having all girls because they love getting new clothes. (Nothing better than looking fly on Christmas morning, right?) Even though it takes so long for such a short time of opening presents, it’s worth every minute. I love that I get to be the one that gives them that joy and happiness.
James Peek is a Recruiter in TERRA’s Tukwila office.