Christmas Memories as a Parent

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Sarah and Trina

In my last post, I shared a few of my childhood Christmas memories. Here are a few memories about Christmas with my children. One of our family traditions was to load the kids into the car after dinner and drive through neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights. Rachel very quickly got the hang of this and became very excited at seeing all the lavishly decorated houses. She was only about two years old and could not quite make the “L” sound. As we started off one night to look at Christmas lights, Rachel said excitedly, “Yook, yights!” I did not have the heart to tell her that it was just a traffic signal changing from green, to yellow, to red.

One of the things about our kids which always amazed me was the fact that they could sleep through Christmas. Annie and I would usually have to wake them up on Christmas morning. When I was kid, I was awake at like five in the morning, not understanding why my parents were not as excited as I was and not understanding why they kept sending me back to bed. Not our girls. We would have to wake them up, reminding them that it was Christmas morning.

Rachel at Christmas

One year, early on, they started asking for a dog. Sarah was six and Rachel was three. They both worked it pretty hard. A dog was on both of their Christmas wish lists. They were constantly telling us how much they wanted a dog and how hard they would work to take care of it. I told them emphatically that we were not getting a dog and that they needed to put that thought out of their minds.

At the same time, I was working feverishly behind the scenes trying to find a Christmas puppy. Because puppies make great Christmas presents, I was having trouble finding any. I asked one of our police K9 handlers if he had any suggestions. He gave me the name and number of another K9 handler with a nearby police department. When I called him and told him what I wanted, he said he had a German Shepherd that was due to have a litter of puppies the middle of November. This guy usually only sold his dogs to police departments, but when I told him I was getting one for my children, he gave me a great discount.

When Christmas morning came around, we had a nice time of opening presents, playing with toys, drinking hot chocolate and listening to Christmas music. There was no mention of a dog. After lunch, I said I was going to get some batteries for one of the kids’ toys and I went and picked up Trina, our newest family member.

The look on Sarah and Rachel’s faces was priceless when I walked in the door. Their mouths dropped open and their eyes got big. “This is Trina,” I told them. When she recovered her voice, Sarah said, “Can we keep her?” I told them that Trina was their Christmas present. Sarah said, “This is the best Christmas ever!” The hugs they gave me had me agreeing with her.

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