I used to look at Christmas as Rankin-Bass specials, lights on people's home and the latest cartridge for my Atari 2600.
I still enjoy the specials, though I think I might be the last generation to do so. And I like the lights, too, though I don't put them on my house, not yet, not until the kids don't require 24-hour surveillance. But Christmas means a lot more now.
It's a chance to get away, get some help with the kids and, most of all, go home.
Vegas was a wonderful getaway, a desperately needed getaway, but even tonight, I found myself having a tough time with the kids around 6:30 p.m. tonight, just before their bedtime. I need a long, extended break. Grandparents are wonderful for their extra set of hands and the chance to get out of the house, and I need that. Kate and I both need that.
It's a chance to run at sea level, too, and eat great food (and that French restaurant sounded awesome, but I don't think there's anything better than a plate full of Kansas City barbecue).
We leave on Christmas Eve.
The anticipation grows. There are some memories to be had, sleep to be won and some space to be enjoyed.