The plans for 2009 had been in the works for months.
It was by far the most epic Christmas of all.
When asked by the kids for a hint, I simply replied, ”A once in a lifetime gift!”
The look of amazement on their faces has stuck with me all these years.
Back then, they still displayed emotions.
Back then, they still looked forward to a surprise.
Dozens of times, they’d seen it.
Hiding in plain sight.
But never once did they suspect.
Countless hours had gone into its preparation.
Many nights of lost sleep had been endured.
And its long-awaited unveiling was almost here.
Christmas Day finally arrived!
And I could barely endure the suspense!
On the way to dinner, we made a stop.
As we pulled in, they asked if we knew who lived here.
We told them we needed to wish a friend a Merry Christmas!
We opened the front door and there he was- Gus our blue heeler.
“Merry Christmas, friend!” we shouted.
“Welcome to your new home!” we cheered.
The tree was beaming with lights and ornaments.
Presents were wrapped under the tree.
And in my mind, it was picture perfect.
A quick tour ensued before they disappeared into their own rooms.
And then, silence.
We sat on the couch waiting…waiting…waiting…
After an endless eternity, they appeared with smiles and laughter.
“The colors are perfect!” they said.
“How did you know what I would want in my room?!” they asked.
“I love sharks! How did you know?” he asked.
And then, our very first Christmas picture was taken in front of our very own fireplace.
And this will forever be my very favorite Christmas memory.