Thanksgiving, traditionally, kicks off the start of the holiday season.

Thanksgiving, traditionally, kicks off the start of the holiday season.

Most everyone I know puts up their Christmas tree Thanksgiving night and flips on the lights and makes preparations for Black Friday shopping.

For our family, we celebrated Thanksgiving and Christmas all-in-one this past Saturday. The reason for our early celebration is because the kids were going to be home for Thanksgiving, but not Christmas.

The kids coined our celebration Thanksmas.

They arrived Thursday evening to find the Christmas tree shining brightly boasting a heavy load of gifts underneath.

“Oh PLEEEAAAASE can we open just one gift?" nine-year-old Maddie begged for the thousandth time since MEA weekend when she knew of this celebration.

Hubby held steadfast that everyone could wait until Saturday. It was I who cracked under the pressure.

“You guys can open the one special gift that I got you,” I told them.

The tree almost did a cartwheel as both of them dashed to it and began digging to find the gift I was talking about.

Amidst all the clatter I still heard Hubby smack his lips together in disgust. I turned to look at him in time to see the icy glare he gave me.

“What?” I shrugged my shoulders with a sheepish look on my face. “It’s one present out of the 30 they each have under the tree,” I said.

“But I know you, and before I even get home from work on Friday you and the kids may have every present under the tree opened,” he scolded. “It just takes one to get the ball rolling,” he muttered.

The next day while Hubby was at work HIS Christmas present arrived. The children and I quickly wrapped it and hid it under the tree with plans for Mason and Maddie to “pretend” to beg to open another present so that we could give him his gift.

It was a MyPillow, an expensive pillow he had asked for months ago when he began to wonder if maybe he had sleep apnea.

With a sleep study scheduled a week away to see if, in fact, he suffers from sleep apnea, I wanted to give him his pillow before then and just between our family.

We should have known better than to let Maddie in on our little secret. Mason and I had planned to wait until supper was finished and Hubby had made his way to his favorite chair for the night before we would begin the fiasco.

Half-way through supper Maddie made a false start.

“Soooooo... we should probably open another present tonight,” she said smiling a guilty smile.

Hubby began his rant again when she quickly added it was so he could have a surprise too. At that Mason groaned.

“You always ruin it Maddie,” he yelled at his sister.

“No I don’t!” she yelled back. “Mom said we could ask to open one more present again tonight.” 

The room became so silent you could have heard a pin drop as my only daughter implicated me.

“See? I knew it!” Hubby said in disgust. “How many presents did Mom let you open today?” he said accusingly as he pushed his plate aside and left the kitchen.

“Way to go Maddie,” Mason sarcastically commented on his way out of room. Moments later Maddie’s door slammed.

Well, that hadn’t gone as planned.

Eventually we all regrouped, apologized to one another and presented Hubby with his gift. In the meantime Hubby consented to the kids opening “one more gift... and that’s IT until Saturday.” 

What seemed to take months to arrive, finally Saturday came. But first we planned to sit down together as an extended family and share a meal.

Maddie was ever so proud of the fruit salad she had made, “all by herself.” 

Grandpa asked her what was in it and she said she couldn’t say because it was a secret recipe with cool whip, strawberries and pineapple.

Mason chided her again on her inability to keep a secret by telling Grandpa what the ingredients to her “secret recipe” were.

As Maddie and Mason argued back and forth across the table about whether Maddie gave up her “secret” recipe and Grandma laughed, Grandpa complimented Maddie on her salad and my nephew shouted for more food, a funny thought came to my mind–I bet we would fit right in with the Robertson family from Duck Dynasty!

As Phil Robertson would say, “I’m hapay, hapay, hapay!”