Random post. Fair warning.
So it's the day before Christmas Eve and things around the house are settling into a fine holiday daze. The kids have been off school since last week, and are alternately stir-crazy with boredom or so anxious for Christmas to come that they can hardly stand it. Many have been the discussions about whether each of the kids has ended up on Santa's "Naughty List" or his "Nice List" -- taunting each other about the former, but deep down believing they're on the latter.
Now that I'm mostly home for the Christmas break, my children have different approaches of utilizing my presence. My younger son finds new and interesting ways to make me feel guilty for not being able to spend all my time playing Legos with him. My daughter doesn't seem to care about my presence one way or the other, so long as her reading time isn't interrupted. My oldest son? He spends his days trying to figure out some way to convince me or his mother to let him play video games all the time.
My wife will have them doing all sorts of crafts and other yearly traditions tomorrow, but for now things are pretty settled. We've got Christmas music going in the background, and I've been trying to wrap up my work responsibilities for the next few weeks. My wife is upstairs downloading even more Christmas music from whatever free sites she can find, and we're all just happy to hang out together. We've been playing board games (the non-electronic kind, much to the dismay of my older son), and my wife has been engaging the kids in baking (and eating) and doing crafts.
Truly it's good times. To me, though, it is odd that the kids will never know in their youth what it means to live in a place where it snows a lot, and gets miserably cold, and you have to worry about your car starting, and shovel the walk, and get to eat icicles (while their parents tell them not to), and walk to school in the snow (or just walk to school), and go sliding down a frozen driveway, and get so cold you can't feel your fingers, and build snow forts, and have massive snow fights, and build snow caves and igloos (really, few people can actually do this, but I did when I was a kid!), and have to take extra shoes with you to school so you could change out of your soggy boots, and goof off in the snow.
But they will know what it's like to do absolutely nothing, and watch Christmas movies, and sit in front of a fire, and drink a lot of hot cocoa, and read books during down time, and just be together as a family. And you know what? That's okay with me.