Up early. The big kids yawning and negotiating “just 10 minutes” to get fortified with caffeine before things get crazy. The little kids in their cute pyjamas, eyes shining, tumbling over each other to get at the presents under the tree. The sounds of giggles, shredded paper, shrieks of joy, thank you’s, and maybe eventually an “I’m hungry”. The smells of Christmas breakfast. The messy chaos of paper and ribbons all over the place. It’s amazing year after year.
We love sharing the experience with our family, although this year we will miss the smells – and the cleanup – because we are doing Christmas via Skype.
Before son #2 and his family were posted back to Ontario, if they were not able to get a holiday military flight “home”, we would take part in a group Skype on Christmas morning. Both sets of grandparents, as well as the boys’ Aunt Cathy and Uncle Sandro, would sit at our computers and make sure we were all online – with both picture and sound (sometimes a logistical challenge)- and watch Christmas morning unfold in Nova Scotia.
Skype was also how our grandsons initially learned to recognize our faces…. well enough that when we were finally able to greet them in person at an airport they ran toward us with open arms. We are so grateful for the technology that made it possible to get to know our grandkids in a way that letters and phone calls never could have.
Because the boys have been comfortable with Skype from an early age, and because we were able to spend all summer with them, we’re not worried that they will “miss out” on family memories because we are not physically with them at Christmas. From Ted’s and my point of view, we are getting a pretty good deal: all the excitement with none of the mess.
Will we miss the hugs? Of course. But we look forward to a ton of them when we get back to Ontario in late April. In the meantime, we’ll stay in touch with our kids and grandkids via Facebook, WhatsApp, email, Messenger, and Skype.
We feel pretty lucky.
We hope you all have reasons in your lives to feel lucky too.