"Can we come downstairs yet? Come onnn you guys... Did Santa come??!"
Dad would set up the tri-pod and we'd take an exasperated picture (or dozen) on the stairs. (Mom posted more about the origin of this tradition here.) And only after that was done could we could enter the living room and wide-eyed see our stockings laid out (always with a candy cane that I'd eat immediately and a clementine), brimming with presents, and the path to the tree congested with gifts. There would be an empty plate of cookies and a letter from Santa that we'd read aloud with excitement.
Barbies and baby dolls and dress ups and I remember there was one year when I was really excited about my very own pack of gum.
This past Christmas morning we awoke to a world dusted white.
It was a quieter morning than Christmases past. Just us four. And that was okay with me.
We still took the traditional Christmas morning-sitting on the stairs in our pjs- picture and then I immediately ate a candy cane. That hasn't changed. We stretched out the stocking opening, then enjoyed our traditional Christmas breakfast (sausage and egg casserole) before moving on to the presents under the tree.
Smaller, quieter, slower but still filled with joy and thankfulness and excitement, still the same traditions I love that we've had every childhood Christmas I can remember.
To my parents I'm still, and always will, be their child. They still spoil me and give me more than I expect or deserve. They still tend to make Christmas about us "kids", even without Santa (although mom still uses "From: Santa" on some of her gift tags).
And yet, Christmas at this age looks a little different.
I feel like I'm in an in-between stage of Christmases that occurs when there are no littles in the house. I still make a Christmas list for my parents but Sister and I, as we are technically "young adults," now also contribute to the Christmas gifting and I love picking out the perfect gift and watching them open it.
One day I know it will become all about our children and watching them experience the wonder of a Christmas morning. Is there anything more precious then Christmas through the eyes of a babe?
And Christmases will include spouses, nieces, nephews and in-laws. And again it will look different. But I hope it still includes the picture on the stairs, this time with me behind the camera.