As I wade around the Hott House this morning, the day after Christmas, I am knee deep in wrapper, ribbons, and bows. How about you? Among the post Christmas remnants, I am up to my elbows in everything from crumpled paper, dead batteries (already), Transformers and Pokemon boxes, Justice tags, to kitchenware! Somewhere in the middle of all the left-over Christmas celebration, I see the gift that warms this “Hott” mama’s heart – it’s called kids!
Ranging from 6 to 21 (and even my 54 year old), all the “Hottlings” are somewhere in the house buried in leftover paper and new treasures from yesterday’s festivities. And what an adventure this Christmas has been! Yours?
You see, I found a few amazing revelations this time around on my 46th Christmas year! First of all, who knew the mounting devious maneuvers my offspring would come up with just to discover the whereabouts of their Christmas presents? I have NO clue where they got THIS from! All of December was filled with some ornery tactics to uncover mom’s secret hiding place in the house.
And Violet! It was really quite clever how she maneuvered her younger brothers to seek out treasures. Why do the seeking yourself when you can have younger brothers get in trouble instead?
Here’s what happened:
After school one day last week, I was making spaghetti in the kitchen — just like any other evening going through the routine of post school bus time, homework, dinner, gymnastics run. Standing next to the stove, I see movement rush pass the kitchen window.
Our house is situated with a patio between the kitchen side and garage. Granted, we are nestled on a hill with the nearest neighbor about 80 acres away. It’s not every day that a head will zoom pass the window; especially without the dogs alarming us that there is a stranger or deer outside.
Let’s see… Levi is playing Beyblade by the Christmas tree. There’s Violet near the sink. Hummm… wonder what she’s smiling about?
When I turn around to the window, I realize that Isaac is missing. Normally not far from my shadow, I am thinking that Isaac is probably re-reading another encyclopedia book about the Bermuda Triangle under the table somewhere, so I continue to stir my sauce (which, by the way, comes from an original North Boston recipe).
At this time, I notice Isaac’s head just above the far side of the hot tub. “What the…?” I didn’t hear him go outside. Now, I turn around to Violet, who begins to giggle.
Isaac? By this time my nose is glued to my recently cleaned window (thanks to grandma), and I see Isaac unclamp the hot tub cover, throw open the lid, and immerse his head in the steaming water. Violet has erupted in a fit of laughter, as Isaac slams down the lid. What’s going on? It’s 38 degrees outside! “Isaac! You BETTER have some shoes on!”
His head returns from under the hot tub cover and he darts back to the house. Barefoot! Violet is rolling on the floor! “Isaac! What’s-going-ON?” (I can’t wait to hear this!)
“Mom! Mom! I saw the UPS truck in the valley. I think we might be getting a CHRISTMAS PACKAGE!”
“What? In the HOT TUB????” I’m confused! I think Violet just peed her pants.
“Huh? No-duh Mom.” Don’t you just love it when you hear that? So, I say to Isaac, finally, “What in the world are you doing in the hot tub? UPS truck? And WHERE are your shoes?”
“Well, actually mom, I was just checking for Christmas presents.” This comes out about as normal as “well, mom, did you know that Optimus Prime is leader of the Autobots?”
“Really… in the hot tub?”
“Uh-huh, mom! Just in case daddy drained the water and hid our presents in there. We’ve looked everywhere in the house, barn, and garage and can’t find anything (Isaac is honest beyond belief). Besides, that’s where Violet said they are!”
NOW I get it. “Next time, just put some shoes on, okay?” These guys have been relentless! Isaac has been so impatient, begging for clues. Finally, I told them all that if they could find the presents, they could open every.single.one.of.them! Right now! We would have Christmas morning immediately!
Feet ran all over the place! They looked everywhere! I even gave the clue that the second letter of the secret location was an “A”. (Shhhhh! I didn’t lie! Everything was at Pap’s house!)
Fun times, right? But you know what? Just as eagerly as they seek to find hidden treasures like Christmas presents, I secretly pray that my children will continue to seek out Jesus with the same enthusiasm. It is finding Him and keeping this treasure in their hearts as they grow older that I strive as a mom to achieve for my kids, don’t you?
Watching this, I wonder what God must be thinking? I bet he delights in the same joy watching us, His children; because we, too, are also His gifts. I really think God gets a little grin when He sees our kids loving Him, when He sees children celebrating the birth of His boy, Jesus, — like throwing one HUGE birthday party!
Just like gifts, God sees our children “unwrap” and share God’s love as they mature. Thankfully, we are a part of a supportive community. And, we live in a country that cherishes and protects our freedom to express said beliefs. Another gift.
I recently had an encounter which enlightened me on the real meaning of “P.C.” or politically correct language (not personal computer, like I thought originally!); hence this “P”ost “C”hristmas post. More than ever, the experience helped me understand the cost to God to send us Jesus. What a sacrifice.
Just a few days ago, I heard from a stranger. He was a U.S. Marine. Commenting on my recent column “Jesus Birthday Censored,” he expressed that as a soldier, he gave up 4 years of his life to “protect Levi’s freedom to tell the truth without punishment or censorship.”
He was crystal clear. There are so many that make sacrifices to protect our freedoms, to include my husband, dad, brothers, cousins – all veterans. For that gift, I am grateful. To hear his words that as a marine, he has personally faced dangers to protect my Levi’s (and others) freedom to write that Christmas is about… “Jesus’ Birthday”.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son.” John 3:16
Now,… for one last gift for me to “unwrap”… Dan!
Copyright © Angie Hott, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved