Christmas Part II

Christmas came and went in the wink of an eye, as always. It was a good Christmas—it really was—but for some reason I wasn’t bursting with spirit like I usually am. Normally I’m traumatized by Christmas being over, but this year there was a bit of a, “Well, glad that’s over!” Weird, huh?

This year Rocco asked for “A Lego set with the most possible amount of pieces but within a reasonable price range.” He took one look at his gift and said, “1,850!”

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Three hours into it, Rocco said something we never thought we’d hear him say: “Sometimes, Leo, you just have to take a break from building Legos.” So he went to his room, opened a different Lego set, and worked on that for a while.

Vincenzo never could think of anything he wanted for Christmas, so we decided to get him either a $20 Subway gift card or a build-your-own-computer kit.

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Here he is, looking for a $20 Subway card.

Leo got a Nintendo Switch but wasn’t excited about it because he had no idea what it was. He just rolled around on the floor the day after Christmas, as he often does, while his brothers played with their new toys, until we explained about the switch.

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We have not seen his eyeballs since.

The surprises in my and Kevin’s stockings included a jar of marmite (him), an electric eraser (her), a bottle of  clam juice (him),  a “hurry up” toast stamp (her), and six pairs of lacy panties (him).

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(I keep telling him he needs to be more specific on his wish lists. How was Santa to know he wanted men’s underwear?)

(Also, is it weird that I’m wearing my husband’s underwear today?)

But the best thing Santa brought was an old-fashioned White Mountain hand-crank ice cream maker, just like the one I had growing up. Every December I think about asking for one, then decide it’s too expensive and ask for a fry pan instead. This year I couldn’t resist any longer. Vincenzo is practically in high school! In four years he’ll be gone and he’ll never have spent several half-hours of his life cranking a little handle the way I used to. He’ll never have huddled around an ice cream maker as someone pulled out the paddle, dripping with milkshakey candy cane ice cream, hoping to be the one to lick it clean. He’ll go to college  with no work ethic, expecting everything to be handed to him on a silver platter, and in 32 different flavors, too! I did it for him more than myself. Really.

You know how you keep imagining how perfect a moment is going to be and then the moment comes and it’s a complete disappointment?

That didn’t happen this time! The moment was exactly how I imagined it. After Christmas dinner, we set the boys up with the ice cream maker in my SIL’s basement. The minute the cranking started up and the ice started its rolling grumble, I was back on Uncle Bob’s patio in 1984, waiting for my turn to crank, feeling like half an hour was the longest unit of time in existence, but also the most exciting. When Kevin pulled the paddle out, dripping with minty ice cream, the boys were already in line with their bowls and spoons.

Why does it make me so happy to see my boys relive my own childhood?

Maybe because the more they grow and change, the more time they spend at school and with their friends, the less I know what they are thinking and feeling. But when they started turning the handle of that ice cream maker? Right then, I knew exactly what they were thinking and feeling. I was thinking and feeling it, too.

So it wasn’t all well, glad that’s over . There was also some, this is amazing. Some wish this could last forever. Some let’s do it again.

Now that I’ve written this post, I don’t know whether I’m glad Christmas is over or I’m sad to see it go. I can’t figure myself out lately!

But hey, at least I know what I’m going to do with the leftover candy canes this year.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Who knows??!

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