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The Laughing Mom: humorous tales of motherhood PDF Print E-mail
Written by Susan Pfaltzgraff   

Visions of Christmas

Christmas Eve found me still wrapping presents. I thought our 2-year-old, Melise, would enjoy helping with some of this chore.

She recognized what wrapping paper was immediately because her birthday wasn’t very long ago. She took one of the smaller rolls and started to unroll it. I thought it would be okay if she crumpled a few inches of the paper in the name of educational exploration. But she kept unrolling it . . . and I suddenly realized she was looking for the present inside!

“Oh no, honey! There isn’t a present in there, just a tube with empty space in the middle.” I turned the roll so Melise could look down the tube.

“Empty?” she asked. She took a hold of each roll and checked that they were all empty. She seemed disappointed, so I tried to explain to her how we were going to use it. I showed her the child-safe paper cutter and the tape. She looked unimpressed until I measured out a square of paper and cut it. Suddenly, she loved the new game.

We wrapped a present for Daddy together. Melise was full of glee over the pretty little present. I left her admiring it while I walked to the kitchen for a glass of water. From the kitchen I heard riiiiiip! Running back into the room, I saw her opening the present and I snapped at her, “No! No! Not yours!”

She obviously wasn’t expecting a negative reaction (and probably had a lot of anticipation focused on the pretty present) because she immediately burst into tears! I huffed and I puffed. And then I wrapped one of her old toys just so she could unwrap it.

Even though it was a toy she’s had for as long as she can remember, she loved unwrapping it. And I wrapped it for her three more times! After that, the desire to unwrap everything seemed to have drained her system and it was safe once more for me to prepare the rest of the presents.

That night we shared dinner with the family, including a couple of cousins. They showed Melise the Christmas tree and all the presents waiting below it. Their excitement was contagious and we had quite the time explaining to Melise that she had to wait until the next day to open them.

That night, Melise had a very hard time falling asleep. I would tell her to lie down and close her eyes. She would lie down, at least, but those bright little eyes would hardly blink. Every few minutes she would pop back up and ask, “Open presents?” Melise didn’t fall asleep until about midnight. The next morning I could barely wake her up no matter how many times I promised presents!

Finally we made it back to the big tree with all the presents underneath it and the family around it. Watching Melise and her cousins tear open presents and marvel over each toy was more fun to me than anything. Melise squealed over a pair of fairy wings and was only slightly disappointed when she realized that they couldn’t make her fly. And her favorite toy was possibly the bubble wrap that another gift came bundled in.

She was thrilled with Christmas like only a child could be.

I was relieved when Christmas (and all the work involved with it) was over . . . but then again, I wouldn’t mind reliving that day over and over again just to see Melise’s pure joy. I hope you all felt similar pleasure in the company of loved ones on Christmas.