As a child, the last few days leading up to Christmas can be absolute torture. It seems like each day lasts a week or longer. You can see the presents under the tree, and the temptation to open them gets stronger with every minute. For my brother and I growing up, by the time my birthday rolled around the tension surrounding Christmas was almost palpable. With both of us having birthdays in December you’d think that we’d want to stretch out the present opening as long as we possibly could since this was the only month during the year that we got to do that. But it didn’t work that way. Neither of us have ever been very good at being patient when it comes to Christmas.
At some point (and truly, I can’t remember when–seems like this has been a part of our tradition all of my life) we came up with our own holiday to help us count down the days until Christmas. We’d have my birthday on the 22nd, then a blank day, then Christmas Eve and Christmas. Well, it was that blank day in there that made Christmas seem so far away to our warped little minds. So my brother and I re-named the blank day Christmas Eve Eve. That way there would be 4 holidays right in a row.
Stupid as that might seem, it helped us get through those last few agonizing days of waiting until Christmas, because once it was my birthday there would be nothing but holidays until Christmas day itself. And now that I’m an adult, I can see the same tension and strain on my kids faces as they have to wait for Christmas. It’s slightly different for them than it was for us. When my brother and I were growing up we didn’t live near any of our family so Christmas consisted of only Christmas morning. For my kids, we live near both Matt’s and my family. Which means that we celebrate Christmas three separate times. Generally on Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Still, knowing that they have to get through the 23rd to get to at least Christmas Eve wears on the kids. That’s why I decided to carry on with my childhood tradition of Christmas Eve Eve. At this point Cameron and Kaylee are too little to really understand the whole concept, but Brendan’s finally at an age that he does. Not that there’s much to understand, Christmas Eve Eve consists of exactly one activity…calling the day a holiday. Which Brendan did this year all on his own. I’ve talked about it enough over the past few years that this year he actually reminded me that Sunday was a very important holiday.
I’m hoping that with Brendan already on board with this that Cameron and Kaylee will soon follow in his footsteps and we’ll have another generation of children believing in the magic of Christmas Eve Eve. Given enough time and a few generations of descendants, maybe we’ll even be able to get it recognized as a real national holiday at some point. Perhaps I should come up with some actual holiday traditions to add into this holiday so when it gets its footing as a recognized holiday there will be something for people to do.
It worked for Valentine’s Day didn’t it?