I swept, vacuumed, did dishes, dusted, did a couple loads of laundry, had a bath and waited for my kids to come home.
From years of experience with this sort of thing (this 'share the kids at Christmas' thing) I anticipated them coming home full of life and enthusiasm and energy and joy. They usually come back at around 1 am, and the first year we lived in this house, we went for a walk around the neighbourhood and handed out Christmas cards. Last year we surprised my mom and dad and drove up to the lake at 2 am and watched The Office (for the first time) til 4 am and laughed ourselves silly.
But this year?
What could we do this year?
My attempts at getting us to do anything together this season have all bombed. ("Hey, let's go out for sushi together..." "I know, let's all go see a movie - how about National Treasure?" "I have an idea! Let's go to the Capilano suspension bridge; apparently it's decorated in lights and stuff" and so on.) They've been brutally honest about their thoughts of not wanting to do sucky family things.
I had no idea what to do to make a memory for THIS Christmas.
Right on schedule, the kids bustled into the house around 1 am, loaded down with boxes and bags of snowboarding loot, Purdy's chocolates and gift cards. I rejoiced with them, looked it all over closely, and suggested, hesitantly that we watch a disk of The Planet Earth.
And with that, we all got comfy in the family room.
Drew, on the mattress on the floor, cuddled up under a blanket, looked around the room. "Hey! It's so clean in here. Mom? Did you clean up in here? Cuz, wow, it looks awesome in here."
And with that, I smiled and sighed deeply. My boys were home. We were all together in the same room at the same time, anticipating being wowed by a nature film.
We watched some amazing footage. Phenominal photography. Incredible wildlife. Unbelievable and mind blowing glimpses into God's creativity.
And then we went to bed.
We got up at 11:30 am and opened our presents.