Christmas Day: Intermission Tradition

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Celebrating Christmas with 3 young kids, Martin and I are in the tradition-building phase of the holiday. Annual practices and habits reappear and nestle themselves in and around December 25. And one in particular has staked a permanent claim.

The forced march.

Actually, we’d never call it that. It’s “intermission” — a cease fire in the rapid destruction of Santa haul beneath the tree. We rug-up the kids and take a long walk.

The origins of intermission date back to 2010, when we discovered Cayden and Hadley early Christmas morning, methodically and indiscriminately tearing through every present and package. We extracted them from wads of crumpled paper and tape, and pushed them out the door with baby Brynn. They were tearful and remorseful, but the walk bucked them up.

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The following Christmas, we versed our early-risers on the “open only the gifts in your stocking” rule, but set out for a late-morning walk. We ditched Brynn’s stroller and opted for a combo of Bugsy/wagon transport to crest the top of the neighbor’s hill.

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The next year, we officially announced “intermission” halfway through present-opening. That was last Christmas. Bugsy carted two kids to the yak-cow property, to check out a new lamb.

This year, a few days ago, I decided that Bugsy deserved a lighter load. Just Brynn. I hoisted the older kids aboard Jazz — who was probably baffled by the octopus effect of four bareback legs. A vast departure from his racetrack days. But the journey’s purpose was the same: take a break from new-toy acquisition and appreciate the day.

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Double duty on the way up….

 

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…just one passenger for the return leg.

 

I have no doubt that intermission will continue, maybe with bikes (if the kids ever learn to ride them) or perhaps with a fleet of horses.

Either way, it’s an official Christmas tradition… and perhaps the impetus of another tradition:

The post-intermission nap.

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