December 30, 2015 by CassieCravings
5 year-old Eli had finally fallen asleep. It had taken longer than usual for him to drift off, but that was expected the night before Christmas.
Without a sound I managed to close the book we were reading and slide him off of my arm onto the pillow. I tip-toed nervously, slowly across the floor, wincing at how loud my shoes could sound on carpet. Still holding my breath I managed to slip from the bedroom and into preparation for Christmas morning.
Santa’s cookies would need to be eaten, a task I was all to glad to volunteer for. I stuffed my mouth full of frosting, sprinkles and cookie while I began doodling a thank-you note from Santa.
As I scribbled, I mentally checked off everything needed for Christmas morning: new pajamas were being worn, all of the the gifts were wrapped, ingredients for the morning’s breakfast were bought. It was looking to be a perfect Christmas. I even got a bit adventurous and tried a new cookie recipe.
With the first cookie polished off, I took a Santa-sized bite from the second. Chomping away and feeling quite smug at how awesome I was at Christmas, I heard a sigh. I looked up to see my husband sheepishly holding the gift from Santa.
“I got the wrong one,” he murmured. His shoulders folded forward. He held the video game out in front of him like a dirty diaper.
“The wrong what?” I choked.
It was 8:57 on Christmas Eve night, and we had a video game for a game system that we did not own. It wouldn’t work. Santa had no gift for our kid. This year of all years! Eli wrote not just one letter to Santa but two. He even went to see the big guy at Bass Pro Shop, an experience that Eli had declared was nearly the best day of his life. This was the year he actually got the hype.
“What do we do?” My husband looked panicked. This wasn’t good. I’m supposed to be the emotional one. We went through the possible choices: 1) we could unwrap one of our gifts and claim it as Santa’s. But he had only asked for a couple of things. None of which we bought him. So, that wouldn’t work. 2) That was all we could think of as a solution.
I picked up my phone, and I did what any sensible mama would do in this situation. I googled it.
Come to find out, Target is open until 10PM on Christmas Eve. He now had less than an hour to get to Target, shop, and check out. Calculating travel time, that would give about about 15 minutes to shop and check out.
It was a race to get there, grab the game and get back home. At the store, we chatted over the phone to maximize decision making efficiency. “You wouldn’t believe how many people are in here!” he said with a slight hint of judgement. “Men?” I inquired. He sighed a “yes” as he hurried down the aisles to the video games.
With minutes to spare, he made it! A shiny new game was set up and ready for a good little boy to find.
The husband and I crawled into bed thankful that our little blunder was fixed. As my weary head hit the pillow, I counted the hours until my bright-eyed boy with tousled curls would be ready to begin Christmas day. I smiled and said another thank-you that our silly mix-up was our biggest struggle this season.
We are truly blessed in so many ways. As I began to drift off, my little boy wrapped his arms tightly around me and squeezed. He buried his head in my chest. Yes, truly blessed.