I will be honest, Christmas was becoming a bit of a drag. I held onto it as long as I could, but there is only so much excitement you can drum up when you pass 30.
Generally I eat too much, feel guilty, eat more to make myself feel better and come out in the new year weighing a couple of kilos more than I did before. Then take months to get back onto the right path.
Presents are cool, but with only adults in the family, there is only so much you can buy with a couple of hundred rand.
Having Gabe on the loose over Christmas time has brought the fun back into it though. It is not our first Christmas with the little man, but he did not exactly register the occasion then, and all I remember is him waking up four or five times that night… and not out of excitement!
But last year was different.
Sure, Gabe is not at the age where he is coming bounding into our room in the morning begging to open his presents, but he is old enough now to understand the new toys are for him. This year, once the first box was opened with new car inside, the excitement bubbled over as he tore into the next one.
By the time he had got to the last one, the mania had reached fever pitch.
Watching him run from one to the other, not knowing which to give the most of his attention was pretty special. Watching him swing the sponge cricket bat had me dreaming of free tickets to the Proteas matches 18 years from now.
Seeing how much speed he generated with the accompanying ball only made the vision more vivid.
It didn’t end there, because once the family came round, so did the additional presents - the clincher being a battery-operated lawn mower. There were two, one for Gabe and one for my nephew Garrett, meaning double the excitement.
Garrett has a thing for lawnmowers apparently, while Gabe has a penchant for anything with wheels, so unsurprisingly, the rest of their day was spent shuttling those mowers around the house. The rest of my day was spent following them.
I couldn’t have been happier.
When I was a kid, my brothers and I could not contain ourselves on Christmas morning (James still can’t, it has to be said), and while the excitement of Christmas morning has been watered down in recent years, it is good to know the torch has been passed on.
Bring on Christmas 2012.
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