SOL #20 2018

A small piece of Christmas wrapping paper floated out from under our couch this morning.  I always find it amazing how a simple object like a sliver of wrapping paper can ignite your memory.

As I was rushing back inside after discovering my car keys weren’t in their usual home (my center console), I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye.  At first, it looked like a loose feather from our couch, but when I crouched down to pick it up (remember, I have a “thing” about clean floors?), I realized it was so much more than a feather.  It was the last remnant of our family’s Christmas.

This tiny piece of paper adorned with a red and white candy canes and a minty green background flooded my mind with a mixture of emotions.  The moment our children barge into the bedroom, jumping on my husband and I cheering, “He came!  He came!  Santa was here!”-this time is 7 am on-the-dot every single year (parent rule).  While we are so excited to run downstairs to see the multitude of gifts awaiting our excitement, I always embrace those few moments that we all snuggle in one bed together.

Our tradition is that the kids wait at the top of the stairs while my husband and I turn the white lights of the tree on and make ourselves that much needed first cup of morning joe.  In what feels like an eternity to our little ones, feels like a mad dash for the groggy and sleep-deprived adults.  “Ok guys, come on down,” I announce.  It sounds like a herd of elephants barreling down our wooden steps and turning the corner into the family room.  My favorite moment of every Christmas is the instant their eyes make contact with the presents under the tree.  “Whoa!  Are you kidding me?  Look at all that he delivered!” they announce.  This year, witty Alex announced that it looked like Christmas had thrown-up all over our family room.

From that moment on, my husband and I sit back and take in all of the thrill we witness in their reactions.  Boy do their personalities shine through!  Katherine, our oldest and type-A child always strategizes … she starts on the outside with the smaller gifts and slowly works her way back to what she predicts will be the “biggies”.  She pauses every now and then to pick up loose wrapping paper and to peek at what the twins have received.  Thomas, the “only boy” as he likes to remind us of, tears through the wrapping paper and finishes in record time, every-single-year.  This seems to be a pattern with his life in general.  Grace, technically the youngest of the three, enters like a tornado and continues in that fashion for about a week after the festivities have ended.  Wrapping paper flying (hence the inspiration for this Slice) and flooding our family room.  Our dog’s bed is in her gift corner and every year, our poor Lab begins circling our family room and pacing, looking for a place to rest that has been buried under the rubble.  Despite all of the chaos, Christmas morning continues to remain my favorite memory, year after year.

One single tear of wrapping paper.  That’s all it takes to flood our minds with such beloved memories.  What’s your piece of wrapping paper?  If you don’t have one, I recommend you begin looking.

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