It’s time for some Christmas Eve fun for kids. Once the stockings are hung what else can we do while waiting for Christmas morning?
This year our family read about a wonderful tradition in Iceland called “Jolabokaflod,” or book flood. People give each other books on Christmas Eve and then curl up by the fire or snuggle into bed with their stories and hot chocolate. This sounds so peaceful and cozy. It can also be fun, as we cuddle kids on our laps, sport marshmallow mustaches, and share the mystery or adventure in a new tale.
Speaking of adventure, have you as parents and caregivers ever had to assemble a toy or other present after the kids have gone to sleep? And still been at it long after? Sometimes the instructions seem to be in another language even tho the words are in English. Especially when tired, and night turns into morning, and it’s still not done. This is based on the true story of one family on such a night. The Christmas Eve fun for kids turned into even more for the adults:
‘Twas the night before Christmas and all thru the room,
the pieces were scattered with feelings of doom.
The stockings were hung but still very empty,
waiting for candy, books, toys and goodies a plenty.
The children were sleeping, every sense on alert,
for the first hint of dawn when they’d race with a spurt.
But now, Mama held the hammer; I wielded the wrench;
the instructions were such to make anyone blench.
Put A beside B and cover with C,
then D comes next, all the way up to Zee.
The clerk in the store had deceived with intent,
“It’s easy to do, won’t take but a moment.”
Meanwhile the clock kept UP its determined advance,
while we gazed all around in a very tired trance.
At last, it was done and we tidied the mess;
I wanted to leave it, I’ll have to confess.
We filled the stockings, wrapped presents, and then…
I spied the cookies and gave into my yen.
We gobbled them down, which just made us think,
they would taste better with a nice strong drink.
Some music and snuggles appeared in the night,
the tree bright with colors, oh what a sight.
I could imagine the laughter, the voices of glee,
the wonderful morning of Christmas frenzy.
Deep down inside some mischievous imp,
came up to the surface with nary a limp.
“Why wait?” it said, “it’s almost the time,
grab the bells, and ring out a chime.”
“What are you doing,” begged my dear wife?
“This is not part of a grownup’s life!”
“I’m waking the kids, and that includes us!”
I rang the bell with no more fuss.
“We’ve only one day, I’m starting it early.”
To the kids’ rooms I ran, all atwirly.
“Sing out the fun, the love and the joy,
because of the birth of one baby boy.”
Happy Christmas to all and A Blessed Good Day.
Follow the children, they’ll show us the way.
(Barbara Allisen, copyright 2012)
Whatever your plans, may it be filled with joy and lots of Christmas Eve fun for kids and the whole family!