As the Papa, I have certain prerogatives. Some of them are weighty, like making sure my children fully understand the gospel, and that they learn to love God. Others are more whimsical, like my gleeful tradition of throwing a glass of cold water over the shower curtain, onto any of my children who take a shower in my bathroom.
But this time of year, there is only one prerogative that matters: I (and only I) have the authority to declare the beginning of ‘Holiday Hours’.
Don’t get me wrong — we do lots of things to celebrate Christmas. We start listening to Christmas carols as early as the first of November, some years. Kathy’s passion for all things Advent sometimes threatens to eclipse the actual day of Christmas, entirely.
But there is a moment when school and work are finished, and when the real fun begins, and it is based on my work schedule. For the children, it means that bedtime constraints (never very strict in our household, anyway) are relaxed, and that we begin to seriously address ourselves to the fun of being a family. We play more games, we watch more movies, we bake more cookies and we generally enjoy each other in a deeper and more significant way.
Last night, we had our Scrooge party, and attended the excellent musical of that name at a nearby church. When we got home, I gathered the kids into our family room for an extemporaneous Family Meeting.
“I have an announcement,” I said, gravely, standing to my feet.
“Uh-oh,” Daniel flinched. Sometimes, my announcements are not very welcome.
I raised both arms and loudly declaimed: “HOLIDAY HOURS!”
And so, the fun begins.