I’m an early bird. I can be awake at 2, 3, or 4 a.m. wandering around the house, reading, or sending emails and think nothing of it. Some of my clients will ask me about it, but it’s just the way I am. I like to say that I inherited my sleep disorder from my dad. So when it comes to Christmas morning, you might think my kids would be right there with me, ready to start the day at the crack of dawn or earlier. But that’s not true.
You’ll never believe it, but my wife, Marjorie, and all four kids are deep sleepers. On Christmas, too, of all days! If I left it up to them, Christmas morning wouldn’t start until around 11! I don’t get it! When I was a kid, Christmas morning started as early as possible — 4 or 5 a.m. Sometimes, our parents would tell us it was too early.
My kids will usually be asleep until I can’t stand it anymore. Rousting them usually means making several trips to each room and me blaring Christmas music from the living room. One year, I tried to sleep in with them, so I stayed up very late, and I learned my lesson. That was the year my mom sat in her car in our driveway for an hour because no one was awake to answer the door!
I’ll tell you, my first Christmases with Marjorie and the young kids were real eye-openers. I anticipated everyone getting up early and being wide awake. But not my wife and kids. She always asked for one more hour, and the kids took after her. In any other house, kids would be jumping up and down, ready to go. For 18 years, I videotaped my sleepy crew coming into the living room, all dressed in their new Christmas Eve pajamas from the night before.
When everyone is finally awake, we celebrate the holiday in a low-key way. We usually don’t go anywhere on Christmas Day. The kids will keep themselves busy, tinkering with their toys, gadgets, and gifts. We pretty much relax until everyone comes over to our house for dinner.
Having a family of deep sleepers is kind of fun, but the fact that we all get to spend Christmas together is the real focus of the season. Kyndra and Brad are all grown up now, but we’ll still see them and their spouses, Kyle and Mandy, over the holidays. I’ve learned that Alyssa loves to sleep, but Nick, my youngest, is slowly coming out of his sleeping-in days. Who knows? Maybe in the years to come, I’ll have a companion in my early morning wanderings around the house!
However you celebrate the holidays, I hope you get to spend time with the people who matter most and cherish the memories you make together. I’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!