Christmas morning was off to a quiet start. I know in some houses children are awake at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning, but so far at least that is not the case for us. In fact, opening presents wasn’t even the first thing on the boys’ minds when they got up Christmas morning. They had a task to accomplish first: making breakfast. After the last visit to my parents’ house where they helped make monkey bread, they felt confident they knew what to do. So, before tucking them in bed on Christmas Eve, I showed them where the biscuits were, mixed up the cinnamon and sugar and laid out cutting boards, table knives, and the monkey bread pan and told them when they woke up they could get started. Around 7:30 I woke up to the sound of the biscuit cans popping open and after getting dressed I headed upstairs to find Isaac, Stephen, and Jack hard at work. Gabriel, who had chosen to sleep on the living room floor was watching them from his pillow. They finished the monkey bread and I put it in the oven. They ate a pre-breakfast snack of banana and chocolate milk and finished about the time Adam came upstairs.
Opening presents with five children is a bit chaotic. I remember as a child taking turns and watching what everyone else got. I am sure I must have wanted to play with things right away, but I don’t remember that part. After making the rounds a couple of times we decided to take a break and let everyone enjoy what they had already opened. It was good we took a break because in the noise of unwrapping we missed hearing the timer on the oven beep and the monkey bread was not yet burnt, but rather crunchy on the outside. The boys didn’t seem too bothered by it. In fact, getting them to put aside their books and Legos long enough to eat was a bit of a task, but eventually we got around to it. While the boys ate their good, but crunchy, monkey bread Adam tried out his Christmas present: a Nespresso espresso machine and milk frother. It worked beautifully, so beautifully in fact that I declared I might myself become a regular coffee drinker. The rest of the morning was filled with opening gifts and playing with them, all of which the boys were pleased with.
At lunch Gabriel was looking a little droopy so I put him to bed, little knowing he would spend the day there. He woke up from his nap with a high fever and spent the rest of the day sleeping in the bathroom. His consolation in his infirmary was his Christmas gift from our dear friends the Roberts, who got him a turtle that puts the constellations on the ceiling. He laid it close beside him and turned on the stars before going back to sleep. In the afternoon we spoke with family and played some more. I was worn out by the day’s end. Gabriel rallied a bit in the evening and sat down with us for our devotions and each boy but Sebastian lit a candle on the advent wreath. They had been keeping careful track of whose day it was to light the candles and since it was Isaac’s day we let him light the long-awaited white candle. At the end of our devotions all through advent we said, “Come, Lord Jesus, come!” before blowing out the candles. Christmas night we proclaimed that he has come–Jesus has been born. But we still await his coming again so we still say, “Come, Lord Jesus, come!” and though our Christmas advent is over, may the spirit of watchfulness and anticipation remain.