What I Didn't Get For Christmas

by - December 27, 2015

What I didn't get for Christmas - by Alanna Rusnak
I see blue sky peeking through the sheer curtains when the children hitch up beside my bed and whisper, "It's 8:01, Mommy."

The sun is shining and summertime bugs buzz stupidly against the dining room window as I pour water into the coffeemaker and press start, marveling at the mild temperature and the green green grass that still graces our entire property.

"If it's not a white Christmas, my life is over!" Liam announced more than once as the day grew closer but he's all bouncy and smiley as the coffee starts to gurgle through its brewing and I'm quite sure he's forgotten his end-of-life threats as he tells me, "I've been snooping in my stocking! But I didn't touch it! You just said we weren't allowed to touch it!!"

I'd told them 8 am was acceptable. I'd told them they weren't allowed to wake me until then. I'd told them there was no Christmas before the sun came up and I'm thrilled they cared enough for my hours of sleep to respect that.

They go and wake their father who groggily joins us by the tree, fully dressed though the rest of us are happily in our pajamas and plan to be for hours...or at least until we have to pack up and go visit other family.

We drink our coffee and watch the children spread their stocking contents into every imaginable corner of the house, the younger ones accepting the magic of it all without question and yes, the reindeer really must have loved the sugar cubes we left them!

I make waffles and bacon and hash browns and I put a bowl of grapes in the center of the table so we can pretend there's something healthy about what we're doing.

We eat and clean up and prepare to open gifts.

I didn't have a Christmas list this year. I normally don't. I don't need anything.

But that didn't stop the children.

When I opened one of Noa's homemade gifts, I oohed and aahed and held out the half egg carton with a white disc glued in one of the spaces. "What is it?" I asked, after exclaiming over its beauty.

"It's an egg," she said. "I thought you'd like an egg."


But the thrill it gave her to glue it together, wrap it up, stick on a little 'love Noa' card, and stick it under the tree...? That's everything!

If I did make a list - an honestly selfish Christmas list - I would include the following:
  • one trip to Italy
  • one USB Typewriter
  • one VW bus {with matching curtains - like this 1978 option}
  • new windows for the west side of my house
  • a log cabin in the south field
  • a coffee maker that changes cheap coffee into heaven-in-a-cup
  • one publishing contract with a generous advance

But I made no such list and so I opened no such gift because maybe Christmas {thought the Grinch} doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more...

Now it's two days later and we've eaten our fill, laughed until we made new wrinkles, found homes for new trinkets and made plans for a huge bonfire to rid ourselves of all the wrappings and trappings. Our heads are buzzed, our bodies are weary, and our hearts are full with the realization that if you took it all away - all tinsel and the bustle and the money spent - we'd still have Christmas and it would still be good because somehow, an old egg carton holds a lot more heart than a shiny new Volkswagen.

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  1. yes we would still have Christmas indeed!

  2. Merry Christmas, girl. Glad you are still having great weather! Muddy, cold, windy mess down here.


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© Alanna Rusnak