This year, not that I shouldn't have been surprised, I learned that the boys didn't necessarily believe in Santa Clause anymore. There hasn't been a positive confirmation of this fact, but all signs lead me to that assumption. I found myself saddened at this news rather than relieved. Last year, I clearly remember thinking it would be easier to wrap it all up, stick it under the tree and be done until Christmas Day.
Be careful for what you wish for.
When the boys were little, I can't remember what age, I started this tradition that they would buy a gift (with my money, of course) for the other. Something they truly thought the other would like.
This year, on the day that I was going to take them out, I realized that they didn't understand the sentiment behind it and were using the opportunity (and again, my money) to get another gift off ye -olde-wishlist. Being that I don't pay them an allowance, I couldn't exactly change the rules in hopes of teaching the lesson. I declared that buying for the other was canceled.
Last night we were leaving to pick up the last minute essentials. He says to me, "There is something N wants to get you at Target."
Knowing how he finagles to find a loophole to buy me something, I say, "You have to be kidding. He wouldn't have said that."
He swears up and down it's the honest truth.
At a stop at another store, I stay in the car whilst the men folks go in. The youngest comes back, and I ask him what he is doing. He says, "I bought Daddy and N a present. I had to come back before they saw me."
He had brought his money and used what resources he had available to buy gifts for his family. Two candy bars for his daddy and something out of the quarter machine for his brother.
We get home and N has a shoe box and is wrapping some sort of CD. I asked him what he was doing. "I am giving D this playstation game. I have no need for it anymore and he is always stealing it. He might as well have it."
All that sweetness of my boys nearly caused my heart to burst out of my chest.
I've been dreading Christmas Day for a number of reasons, two of which happen to be 12- and 11-years-old. Every year, they both happen to do or say something that totally puts another runner on an already delicate tapestry of what is supposed to be a joyous occasion. Every single gift I purchased had to go through a rigorous thought process to test for the potential of fighting, arguing, or otherwise annoying the other.
Maybe this year is the one that will turn it all around.