Right on cue, the snow began to fall on Christmas Eve. While Mom busied herself with last minute Christmas day preparations, Dad took charge of occupying the children. Inspired by the fresh batch of snow, Andrew retrieved an empty water heater box from the basement. After recruiting a pair of artists, he instructed them that his new snow sleigh was in need of holiday decor. Enthused with their assignment, Eliza and Henry went to work coloring the box while Andrew focused on the mechanics necessary to pull his 'sleigh.' If only we'd had a string of bells lying around, the vision he had would have been complete.
As we entered the garage the kids were all bonding over their mutual post traumatic stress when Andrew asked, "Does anyone want to go do that again with me in the 4runner?" Surprising us both, all three of them instantly calmed their shaky emotional demeanor as they eagerly accepted his invitation.
Eliza was about to explode with anticipation as we made our way around the Christmas tree to open their new pajamas. Sadly, the ornaments I had made didn't arrive until New Years Eve so that Christmas Eve tradition didn't happen. In the spirit of admitting defeat, we made it halfway through that evening's story as they were all bouncing off the walls with excitement. Eliza thoughtfully prepared Santa's milk and cookies and arranged them on the table with a handful of Eliza made, "To Santa" gifts that she'd constructed throughout the season as well as letter she'd recently written for him.
"If you don't fall asleep, Santa won't come." He warned. Our future teenager replied,
"... but he already came, Dad!"... like duh. She can see from the upstairs overlook. It's true. Santa had already come and that poor child was left to endure the painful anticipation alone in her dark bedroom.
"See. I told you I was on the good list."
And then the Christmas rush began. Showering the kids, preparing a dish for Christmas night and packing a suitcase, Andrew and I prepared ourselves for our visit to Salt Lake for a lovely game of what I like to call Christmas ping pong. We spent that afternoon with the Flegal's and then to my parent's home for dinner and back again to the Flegal's for a sleepover.
And to my Mr. Claus,