This post is written by my wonderful sister Suzy. We like to call her Suzy fun Fact, if you need to know any random fact, she knows it. If you need a recipe, ask her. She is one of the reasons I wanted to have so many kids. As a teenager and college student I would go and hang out at her house. She made it look like so much fun…and it was. She is a fun Mom.
The Santa Slumber Party
My parents had the perfect floor plan for Christmas morning. The house was divided by a hall door. On one side of the door, we had the family room, kitchen, and living room/dinning room. On the other side of the door, we had all the bedrooms, including my parent’s bedroom strategically placed right by the hall door. They were geniuses. Our Christmas festivities all took place in the living room/dining room . . . on the OTHER side of the door. On Christmas morning we could NOT get through the door without being caught by my parents. (It was a loud door. Again, genius.) So every Christmas morning my oldest brother would wake us, because he was as excited, if not more, than the youngest in the family. We would gather in my parent’s room and enjoy the anticipation of what we would find on the other side of the door! The excitement of us bouncing off the walls, hurrying my parents, and lining up in the hallway, are among my favorite childhood Christmas memories!
For some strange reason, my husband and I didn’t take our Christmas morning floor plan into consideration when we bought our house. So you can imagine my alarm when I realized that we had completely failed by buying a house that had the master bedroom farthest from the Christmas celebration area and NO squeaky hall door! I think it was a friend who made the suggestion that saved Christmas! If the whole family slept in the master bedroom, the kids couldn’t sneak and peak without us. I know that to some this might seem ridiculous, my husband being one of the some. But, other than the Christmas Eve pageant at Grandma’s, this is the most loved of all our Christmas traditions. Every year the kids bring in whatever they can concoct to make a bed on the floor. At first it was blankets and pillows. Then as teens they dragged in mattresses. One year my son slept on the master bathroom floor. We have a rule that the kids have to sleep a certain number of hours. If they went to bed early, they could get up early. As they got older, they weren’t as anxious to be up before the sun. Through the night and into the morning, it’s just more fun to be together waiting, than to be alone in our rooms. Once everyone was awake and my husband tortured the kids by finding every excuse he could to make them wait, (contacts, potty, change clothes, etc.), they would gather at the top of the stairs, and we would all go down to discover our Christmas surprises together!
There were times when I thought that maybe the kids had outgrown our tradition, but they were the ones who insisted that we HAD to do it! When our oldest got married, my husband thought for sure that he was done with my silly nuisance of a tradition, but my son-in-law, who I consider my son as much as the others, happily began camping out with the rest of us, like it’s something every family does. The crowning moment came when my fourteen-year-old daughter said to me, “How will we all fit in your room when I’m married?” Oh, if only the tradition could last that long!!! It’s been worth any discomfort that we might have endured. Being together and seeing our children’s faces light up every Christmas morning is pure joy! My biggest concern now is when my children begin this tradition in their own homes will there be room on the floor for grandma (me) to sleep on a mattress in their master bedrooms or will I have to sleep on the floor?