Mum and Dad had a Christmas morning rule when we were kids. There was to be no wake-ups at 5am. We were to wait until 6am – or as they taught us to read the digital clock they gave us on Christmas Eve – 6, dot, dot, 0, 0.
They conceded that we could sneak out to look at the presents – but only one at a time.
So our Christmas morning went like this:
- The first one awake, would sneak out to wake the others
- We would check the time, and sit on the bed with the clock between us
- One at a time, we would sneak out to the loungeroom to look at the presents
- We would bring back details of the big presents – like, wow you have a really big box under the tree at the back! or I think you did get that Tonka Truck!
- When this tradition started, we couldn’t read the time – so it was a surprise when the clock actually became 6, dot, dot, 0, 0! But later, the time it took for 5, dot, dot, 5, 9 to become 6, dot, dot, 0, 0 seemed to get longer every year.
- But we would always wait patiently for the clock to turn to 6, dot, dot, 0, 0
- When we would go and wake Mum and Dad – who I actually think had probably been awake for a while already – listening to us kids sneak out to the loungeroom on tiptoe to find our presents.
A few years ago, we were back at Mum’s as adults. Before we had partners and kids. And we still waited for the clock to be 6, dot, dot, 0, 0. We begrudgingly dragged ourselves out of bed – but we all had a knowing smile as we remembered the excitement of Christmas morning.
And this morning, our first Christmas without Mum, the first thing we say when we call to wish each other a Merry Christmas: “But it’s not 6, dot, dot, 0, 0!”.
This will forever be our Christmas tradition.