The 30-cup coffee pot is on
The ham is cooking, and I remembered to pull the plastic part out before it started stinking this year. Yay me!
The potatoes are in the oven
and the guests have not yet arrived
So I have time for a story
Let's do the story of the 6am pickle hunt
About five years ago or so, Allan's ornament for the year was the pickle ornament. We knew that he would fancy the different stories attached to it, and that he would enjoy establishing his own tradition. The tradition he decided on is that whoever finds the pickle first gets to open the first gift on Christmas morning.
To find the pickle means that someone has to actually hide the pickle. The kids talk about the pickle all month, so this is important to them. And I remembered at about 6am when I was lying awake in bed marveling at the fact that we'd not yet been pounced on with announcements that Santa had arrived.
I broke out in a sweat. To not have hidden the ornament is akin to, to, to...something majorly catastrophic.
So I snuck out of bed. At 6am. After marveling at how pleasant it was to still be in it without children. The irony did not escape me.
And I crept downstairs after donning my bright red zip up bathrobe that in hindsight was a wonderful cover should I have been caught, for the big man himself.
Now...I remembered somewhat where the pickle was because the kids had discussed it so often in the past few weeks, that I was hoping to do this job without turning on the lights.
I continued to creep to the tree, leaning over packages, and felt my way around the fake pine in the general vicinity of where I thought the pickle was. And I felt it. And I pulled it gently and quietly towards me - and somehow .... I dropped it.
So I bent down, leaning over the fence that still protects our tree from 11 month old tree climbers, and I tried feeling between the presents for the wayward pickle while keeping one eye on the stairs for any early risers and thinking about my size, my robe and my likeness to the big guy but for the lack of the beard.
And I couldn't find it
The debate now was do I turn on the light and risk getting caught, skip the pickle altogether and risk disappointment and tears, or or or
I turned on the light
And I found the dropped ornament and it was a bird. Not a pickle. Birds and pickles feel lots alike in the dark, if you didn't know.
I refound the pickle, hid it and crawled back up in bed before I was caught
And the house remained unbelievably quiet until well after 8am. A record for this house. In fact, it was the 2 year old who was first up, and who we sent to wake up the others.
Now it's time to check the hash browns, check the coffee...and be merry