A Braemal Christmas

Dec 14 2017, 10:55 pm in , ,


     I love the Christmas season. I love Christmas carols (even when I was in a choir and we’d start practicing them in July). I love the glow of coloured lights glowing from windows or hanging from the eaves in the dark of night (no white or blue lights for me please, they’re too cold in an area that is monochromatic for six months of the year.) The very first year i met my husband, we started a tradition of going out and cutting down our own Christmas tree. Finding a tree farm wasn’t as much work as you’d think since I lived in an area where every other farm in the area was a Christmas tree farm that charged locals $2 if you cut your own. (A lot of us also made money in the summer working on those farms, trimming the trees to the perfect shape.)  So naturally, going out to those farms and choosing the perfect tree became a tradition when our boys were little too. (No, it wasn’t quite the journey that the Griswolds had.)


     We no longer buy a real tree, thanks to Storm, our beloved black lab. Storm loved to sleep under the tree, then she’d wake up, forget where she was and stand up, tipping over the tree, sending ornaments skittering across the floor, along with a massive flood of water pouring out of the tree’s water bowl. So yes, it only took a couple of days of that to decide to switch to an artificial tree the following year.  Which is good too because it means we can put the tree up earlier.


     One of the tougher challenges however was how to keep the Christmas morning laughter going once our boys reached the age where *lowers her voice to a whisper* they didn’t believe in Santa anymore. (Yes, I gasp when I say that even now they’re in their late twenties and early thirties.)


So we started several traditions and we vary them each year. Hubby and I (or occasionally my sons and I) select one person in the family and pull one of two pranks. If you get a slightly larger present than you expected, it’s probable that the gifted has wrapped one of their smaller presents in increasingly larger boxes.(Yes each box was given its own coat of wrapping paper so they knew exactly which one would reveal the actual present. Some of them were as small as a Tinkertoy sized present that ended up in a huge three foot high box. Naturally we didn’t use the expensive wrapping paper for them.)


Or, especially if someone is expecting a specific special present, we hide the present and leave a trail of rhyming clues that the recipient has to decipher to discover the location of the next clue. Every one of us have been subjected to that fun. (Yes, it’s lots of fun. And a challenge too that the recipient doesn’t accidentally stumble on a clue before they go to bed on Christmas Eve.) My eldest still reminds me how one year he knew he was getting an amplifier for his electric guitar. He had seen the large box it came in, and knew from the size what it was wrapped and beneath the tree. Then on Christmas morning he dragged it over, opened it and discovered we’d filled it with forty pounds of weights  from his weightlifting set and the first of six clues to find the amp. (The weights were so if he did happen to move it before Christmas morning, he’d continue to be fooled. Yes, we get tricksy in this household when it comes to present wrapping.)


     Now my eldest has moved to his own home, he and his wife have continued that tradition, so often two of our family can be pranked the same morning. Which adds to the laughter.


    There is nothing I love more on Christmas morning than listening to the sound of my family laughing.


Leah is the only woman in a houseful of males that includes her college-sweetheart husband, two sons, a Shih Tzu named Seamus and Turtle the cat. She loves escaping the ever-multiplying dust bunnies by opening up her laptop to write about sexy heroes and the women who challenge them. You can reach her at https://leahbraemel.com



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