This Christmas was my second Christmas back home in the Bay. I'm still having a tough time getting excited about it despite my family's enthusiasm, decoration and the presence of my two excited young nephews. After 11 years away from home and being with a partner who doesn't celebrate...nay, negates holidays...the passion has drifted from me.
Despite the lack of intense excitement and spirit that once flowed through me in my youth, it was a good Christmas. My brother lives around the corner from my parent's home, so this year (as well as last Christmas) he and his family slept over on Christmas Eve. Since I'm the night owl of the family, I offered to stay up and take care of the kid's stockings. My nephew, Christian is a night owl too, so there's no telling how long he'd be awake.
Christian is going to be 8 years old in April and he is already starting to doubt the existence of Santa Clause according to his mother. She wanted to do a little extra to try to keep it alive in him. Her suggestion was to put some dirty fingerprints on the glass doors of the fireplace.
The kids covered the hearth with decorations, so I decided to make it look like Santa knocked over the decor when he pushed open the glass doors. I put my hands in the ash and placed some hand prints on the doors. I was inspired by a Christmas I had when I was about his age. I remember a line of ash tracked from the fireplace to the Christmas tree. I couldn't very well track ash through two rooms since the tree is in a separate room, however I decided to make a small path from the opening of the fireplace and over the hearth onto the carpet for a couple feet.
Christmas morning, I was woken by the excited shouting of my younger nephew, Patryk. All I could hear as he ran up and down the hall was, "A bike! I can't believe it! I can't believe it! Santa remembered! It's exactly the one I asked for! I can't believe it! I can't believe it...." I dragged myself out of bed and threw on a sweatshirt to everyone in the family room. Christian received his own set of "wheels" a Land Shark 4-wheeled kneeboard which he says that he wants to have the dogs pull him.
My great gift surprises: A Bose iPod docking station and the complete series of "Planet Earth" on DVD from my folks and a Chi flat iron from my brother and his wife...and a handmade turtle my nephew Christian made out of polymer clay and cooked in his tiny oven. Coincidentally, I got the "Planet Earth" dvd trivia game for my nephews as a gift. That series rocks. :)