Christmas time. What a wonderful time of year, especially seen through the eyes of children. Sometimes we adults forget that they may not understand things the way we do. Like the time my then 8 year old daughter was explaining the wise men’s gifts to her younger brother- “You know they gave gold, sentence and myrrh!” I was afraid to ask her what “sentence” was.
Another endearing explanation of Christmas was from my now missionary son when he was 3. Our home teacher asked him if he knew how Christmas worked. He nodded his head and said he did. He said that Jesus made all the gifts and then he told Santa where to take them.
Some of the things our children do at Christmas can take a few years before they are funny. One of my son’s just could not stay out of the gifts under the tree. I told his father that the temptation was just too much for a 4 year old. He thought the 4 year old needed to learn some self discipline. Easy for him to say, he didn’t have to keep the 4 year old out of the gifts or rewrap them 10 times every day. So my husband built a fence around the tree, candy cane, of course, but it didn’t help. We finally gave up and moved all the presents.
One year we had to change the color of the balls on our tree. My 18 month old was convinced that the red balls on our trees were apples. I told him they were not and even let him hold one, but he remained unconvinced. I was grateful that when he finally decided to bite into one I was standing nearby and heard the breaking glass. Amazingly, I was able to get the glass out of his mouth without him swallowing it or cutting his mouth. We switched to non glass balls too!
The next Christmas story is one about my husband. Normally, he has a good head on his shoulders , but give him Christmas toys and look out, he’s 10 years old again. One year he talked me into getting a Gatling Nerf gun for the boys. For those of you who don’t know, a Gatling gun is one of the first machine guns and this one shot about 20 huge Nerf darts as fast as the darts could cycle through. In a Nerf gun fight, that is some serious action. When the boys saw it Christmas morning they were thrilled. Later in the afternoon, after Christmas dinner, they decided to play with it. It wouldn’t work so they took it into their father for him to fix. Fix it he did and shot off a couple of rounds. The boys were ecstatic. That’s when insanity took over. My husband ran into the living room, brandishing his new toy with the boys in hot pursuit. “Hey Dear! Watch this!” he yelled and then proceeded to shoot the 20 darts into the depths of the living room. This was followed by a horrified silence. My normally clear thinking husband had shot 20 large Nerf darts straight at the fireplace mantle where my Christmas Angels have a place of reverence. The silence was caused by everyone holding their breath to see which of the rocking angels still left on the mantle would fall. When the last angel stopped swaying all the kids looked at me. Then my husband said, “I can’t believe I just did that!” (And he wonders where the kids get it from?) I said “You get to look and see what you killed... I can’t.” Incredibly, he didn’t break any. A Christmas Miracle.
My kid’s favorite though has to do with me. I was, again, the innocent bystander. One of my boys, in a generous mood, bought his 2 younger brothers pellet guns. I was not happy, but he assured me that pellets would never be used in them, they were just for looks. He didn’t clue his other brothers into the promise. After Christmas dinner (do you see the pattern here?), these other brothers took the boys outside where they had great fun target shooting with the guns. Later that evening, my 7 year old kept cocking and shooting the gun over and over. I told him to stop, and not to point guns at people because he could hurt someone. Sounding much like his father, he said, “See, Mom! There’s no ammo in it!” Then he cocked the gun, pointed it at me and then to prove the point, fired the gun. As they say, life moves in slow motion as you see catastrophe heading your way. I watched in horror as a pellet came hurtling at me. I shrieked and ducked. I got the pellet right in the cheek. I shrieked as it made contact. Then I shrieked at the son who thought these guns where a good idea. My kids were rolling on the floor laughing once they saw that I was not hurt. They accused me of making the same noise 3 times and expressing completely different ideas with each one. Personally, I failed to see the humor at all. Needless to say, the gun was confiscated, much to my seven years old chagrin.
Oh, the joys of Christmas memories. If you have some Christmas memories to share, send them here.
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