The only day of the year that my kids get up before I do

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Austin Texas Homes, LLC 453249

I hope all of you had a terrific Christmas today.  We had a great morning and it really looked like a gift factory exploded in our living room.  We had kept the gifts in the garage to avoid the reign of terror of our 21-month old daughter, and it took three of us (me, my wife and my mom) well over half an hour to bring them in last night after the kids went to sleep.  My mom was here and she was a great help, as always. 

My kids got up about two hours earlier than normal, which may sound terrible to those of you who are early risers, but they usually aren't up until around 9:00 or 9:30.  We homeschool, and I am a notorious night owl, so their schedule is more in synch with my own so that I can spend more time with them. 

The looks on my kids' faces were priceless, and I hope to share some of the pictures with you soon.  I was pleasantly surprised that my wife bought me a new fancy digital camera for Christmas, which appears to have some awesome features and a great telephoto lens.  However, I am simply too tired to upload images tonight. 

I was super excited that my copy of the "Charlie Brown Christmas" CD arrived in time for today, as I played it several times while we were opening gifts.  Yes, it took that long to open all of the gifts.  My wife held back a number of presents for each child because my father-in-law is coming on Friday, and we wanted it to be festive all over again.  This music seems to put me in the proper holiday spirit faster than anything else.

We even had a "second wave" of gift opening that started when our toddler awoke for the second time.  She was up early, then back to bed, then back up for presents.  The other kids were about halfway done when she got up to join us.  My wife bought her a Santa suit and hat that she wore today.  I don't think I have seen cuter kids than mine were today.

Surprisingly, my son actually made up an impromptu song about socks because he was excited about getting TWO sets.  It went something like, "Oh, yeah, baby, gotta get me some socks!  Sweet!"  That is not verbatim, but close.  Keep in mind that he also received a Nintendo DS (handheld game), Robo Sapiens (remote controlled robot), and countless other goodies.  None of them were worthy of the sock song.  Later, he made up a quick poem about one of his other gifts, but I didn't write it down, so I forgot it.  I honestly think that it was the exuberance of the moment rather than the socks themselves, but I could be mistaken.

Despite asking for half of the toy catalog and only receiving 49% of it, our six-year old had a terrific day, too.  One of her favorite gifts (other than the DS) was a bag filled with numerous stuffed Neopets.  She is our child that will "adopt" a stuffed animal everywhere we go.  She has a constant companion that is a soft stuffed turtle.  Sometimes I get to babysit him.  My wife pointed out to me that our daughter is incredibly equitable with her stuffed friends.  She rotates which ones sleep in her bed with her, and which ones receive attention.  She will be a great mom someday I am sure.

Thanks for reading my Christmas ramblings!  Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night (and a good week)!

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Alan Kirkpatrick
Austin Texas Homes - Round Rock, TX
Alan in Austin


Had to laugh as I read sounds as if you had a great Christmas.

Dec 26, 2007 01:38 AM #23
Simon Conway
Orlando Area Real Estate Services - Orlando, FL
I wrote something similar on my own blog yesterday, but  no longer have "little ones" at home, so the excitement level is lower. I did however manage to extract the following sentence from my wife when she opened her gift from me: 'This is literally the best gift I have ever received - ever!" So I guess I can screw up for about a week now with no consequences! *lol*
Dec 26, 2007 01:50 AM #24
Lisa Heindel
Crescent City Living LLC - New Orleans, LA
New Orleans Real Estate Broker
Jason, I'm so glad that the kids enjoyed their Christmas!  This was our first year with no one "believing", so it was different than years past...a little quieter, a little more subdued and a whole lot easier to clean up.  I remember the toy explosions and how much fun they were :)  I wish your family the best that 2008 can offer.
Dec 26, 2007 02:06 AM #25
Tom Plant - Murrieta, CA
Jason - Sounds the the Crouch household was filled with joy. No surprise. Happy New Year, my good friend.
Dec 26, 2007 02:29 AM #26
Sarah Eubanks
Hill Valley Financial Services - Oregon City, OR
Preferred Oregon Loan Consultant & Notary Public
Hi Jason ~  I am so there with you!  My house was much the same.  The kids were up before we were.  But they just went and crawled in bed with their Grammy so they could chat.  It is so neat though to wake up to sweet laughter and little voices hoping that Santa brought them a Wii...and knowing that he did!
Dec 26, 2007 02:41 AM #27
Jennifer Monroe
Savvy + Company Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
Real Estate REALTOR®/Broker in Beautiful Charlotte
I am reading this with a huge smile as I vicariously enjoy a house filled with exuberant children! The chaos is what makes the day so special! I'm delighted that you enjoyed a very joyful and love filled Christmas Day :)
Dec 26, 2007 04:05 AM #28
Elaine Hanson
Compass - Topanga, CA
REALTOR - Topanga, CA Real Estate Agent

Our tree had many small, packages around it this year.  Kids get older, packages get smaller and more $$$.  I was wrapping presents the other night when I stopped and looked at my husband and said, "Remember all the huge Little Tikes boxes we used to wrap?"  I think the roll of Costco paper I have now is going to last a few more years!  Thanks for inviting us into your happy living room. 

Dec 26, 2007 05:23 AM #29
Fran Gatti
RE/MAX Integrity - Medford, OR
Managing Principal Broker - RE/MAX Integrity


How fun.  We are in the tween stage with young adults and only one grandchild who was with her other grandparents, so no little ones around.  We still had a nice time and had a lot of fun cooking Christmas dinner.

Dec 26, 2007 02:13 PM #30
Tom Burris
NMLS# 335055 - Baton Rouge, LA
Texas/Louisiana Mortgage Pro - 13 YRS Experience

LOL... I set the alarm for 5:00 and got the coffee going. Then went and got the wire clippers and my pocketknife(you can fix a Boeing 747 with that combination). Gathered up a few batteries and waited.... but not long.... and the stirring began. It was a blessing....


Dec 26, 2007 03:20 PM #31
Elizabeth Nieves
The Elizabeth Nieves Realty Group - Durham, NC
Bilingual Raleigh - Durham North Carolina Real Estate Team
JASON: It sounds WONDERFUL!!! I'm so glad your family had such a beautiful Christmas. Ours was great also. I still have a VERY FULL home...and I LOVE IT! Thanks for sharing your children with us. (Love the sock song!)
Dec 26, 2007 04:16 PM #32
Bill Nazur
First Lending Solutions - Riverside, CA

Ah yes, I certainly feel you right now...I'm zonked, but it was all worth seeing the kids' faces light up, and to hear my 2 year old yell, Happy Birthday baby jesus! just priceless......

Glad you had a great Christmas...............may your 2008 continue with all of the blessings that the Crouches so very much deserve.......


Dec 26, 2007 04:23 PM #33
Peggy K.
Grand Property Virtual Tours - Buffalo Grove, IL
Illinois Virtual Tour Provider and Real Estate Photographer
Hi Jason, sounds like you had a wonderful day.  My 5 year old received a drum set! I was so EXCITED!  Thank goodness he liked his set of colorful markers much better.
Dec 26, 2007 10:38 PM #34
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

JAYNE - I have heard a couple of bubble gum related songs in my day.  Sounds like a great day in your house as well.  Thanks for your comments!

BONNIE - Family togetherness makes Christmas more special - I agree.  Glad to hear that you had a great time.  Thanks!

JEANNIE - Maybe I could get my son to write a quick poem or song about underwear for your 20-year old.  Thanks for stopping by!

CHRISTINA - Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you as well.  Thanks for reading!

DEBORAH - It was a pretty special day.  I look forward to reviewing the pictures that I took.  Thanks for your comments - have a great rest of the week and a happy new year!

MISSY - It sounds like a great Christmas at your house, too.  Your description was right on the money (unable to walk in the family room).  Congrats on your new ring - it sounds nice.  Have a very happy new year!

PAUL - Your comment made me laugh.  Sorry to hear about your torturous sleep (lack of sleep) schedule.  It was good getting a chance to chat for awhile yesterday.  Talk to you sometime soon -

TRICIA - That is a great story.  I need to check out your blog to see how your day went.  Thanks so much for your comments.  I hope you are having a great week!

SALLY - Thanks for sharing your day.  We haven't really stopped celebrating.  Yesterday, we spent much of the day shopping.  Today, we will have a day of rest before the other relatives show up tomorrow.  Have a very happy new year as well!

GEORGINA - Turtum is my daughter's turtle, and I hope and pray that we never lose him.  He is large enough that he is relatively easy to find, thankfully.  I like the dryer lint story - thanks for sharing it.  Have a great new year!

KAREN - Yes, we had a great day.  It sounds like you had some fun as well.  I don't think the schedule matters as much as being together with your family!  Thanks for stopping by -

DON - It sounds like a great day with your boys.  We like to spoil our kids, too!  I like to make it fun and memorable for them.

KAREN ANNE - Absolutely.  What is "overboard"?  :-)  The toy factory explosion cleanup continues at our house.

ADAM - If I had the camera on at that point, I would definitely have shared the video.  It was priceless.  However, I have yet to learn how to create a YouTube video, so that might be the first step.  I agree with you - it is fascinating to see which things they get excited about.

ADELE - Yes, we did.  Thanks for your comments!  Happy new year!

HUGH - I felt like we needed a bigger house too, even though ours is pretty big.  With the combination of our stuff plus what my mom brought, it was quite a haul for my kids.  Merry Christmas!

MARC - Thanks, buddy.  I hope you have a terrific 2008 as well!

TERI - Thanks for sharing a couple of your Christmas memories here.  I wish you a very happy 2008.  Thanks so much for your continued support of my blog!

JEANEAN - I hope to create a post today to share some of the pictures from our big day.  Thanks for your comments!

Dec 27, 2007 02:24 AM #35
Birmingham Alabama Real Estate, Stephen Wolfe - Birmingham, AL
Jason. it is so true and it's the day after we stay up later than usual too. Isn't it great, once you have more than one child, to see not only how they react to their own gifts but the gifts of their siblings. Even though they forget who got which gift, there is still an abundance of joy. Jason, here's to you having an abundance of joy in 2008!
Dec 27, 2007 05:07 AM #36
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

DAN - I'm sure those days are not too far into the future for us (XBox half the night, etc.).  Glad you had a great Christmas.  Thanks for stopping by -

ROBERT - That is wonderful.  Maybe you should write about it if you haven't already done so.  Happy new year!

PAUL - I would love to see a poem from you or my son, either way is fine with me.  Talk to you soon -

ALAN - Glad that this provided a good laugh for you.  Merry Christmas!

SIMON - That is a wonderful thing to hear from your wife.  I agree - you earned some brownie points that should last at least until the new year. 

LISA - It sounds like you had a good time as well.  Thanks for your holiday and new year wishes.  I also hope that you and your family have a terrific 2008!

TOM - Thanks for saying that.  You are very kind.  Happy New Year to you as well!

SARAH - You and they will enjoy the Wii - we have had one for almost a year now.  Believe it or not, it was a gift from a good friend of mine who simply thought that our kids would enjoy it and he wasn't getting enough use out of it. 

JENNIFER - I am always happy to provide the vicarious family experience for you.  I will be posted some pictures soon.  Thanks for your kind remarks!  Happy New Year!

ELAINE - I have seen that progression occur with my niece and nephew, who are 15-year old twins.  The packages do get smaller, yet more expensive.  I was happy to invite my friends to experience our Christmas via AR.  I hope to get some photos up today.

FRAN - I am happy to hear that you had a great day with your family.  We have a good number of "kid" Christmases left around here, since our youngest just turned 21 months old.  Who knows?  We may even have another child.  Thanks so much for your comments - I hope you have a terrific 2008.

TOM - I can relate to the wire cutters, batteries, and pocketknife, considering the packaging for toys these days.  Glad you had a blessed day with your family. 

ELIZABETH - The sock song was absolutely hilarious!  A full house is a happy house, in my opinion.  Enjoy your week, and I wish you an awesome 2008!

BILL - It sounds like an exuberant good time at your house, too.  We have a tradition now on Christmas Eve when we all sit as a family and share what we are giving Jesus for his birthday.  Happy New Year to you and your family - I hope you have a terrific 2008.

PEGGY - A five-year old with drums  I would probably be playing them myself.  Have a terrific new year!

STEPHEN - I would like to wish you and your family a joyous 2008 as well.  You're right - it doesn't really matter who got which gift.  Thanks for your comments!

Dec 27, 2007 06:46 AM #37
Jessica Horton Jessica Horton Realty
Jessica Horton - Jessica Horton & Associates - Griffin, GA
Jessica Horton: I'm not #1... You Are!

I'm late to the party! Sorry!

Sounds like you guys had a great time.  I'm happy for you.  Please do upload the photos when you have time. 

I'm still recovering from the lack of sleep and the in-laws.  =]
Dec 27, 2007 11:18 AM #38
Ginger Wilcox
Sindeo - San Francisco, CA
I can't even imagine children who regularly sleep in until 9am!  Mine usually have had 3 breakfasts by that time!  I hope you enjoy the rest of this holiday season with your family.
Dec 27, 2007 11:23 AM #39
Katerina Gasset
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services - Wellington, FL
Get It Done For Me Virtual Services
Jason- Isn't it the most wondrous of sights to see the big eyes on our children as they open up gifts? We all sit down and we have one person go get a gift and then give it to the person intended, that person opens the gift and then hugs the person who gave it to him/her and says thank you and then gets a gift for another person, you are not to pick a gift for yourself. It takes a long time with a big family like ours but it has been the tradition for over a century. We celebrate Christmas on the eve of Christmas and then Christmas day we have the dinner. This year we had to do it all on Christmas day because 2 of my sons had to work on the eve. I came down with the flu or something like that on Christmas eve and still pulled all the cooking off. I am glad you had a great time! Katerina
Dec 27, 2007 11:42 AM #40
Todd Clark
eXp Realty LLC - Tigard, OR
Principle Broker Oregon

I'm glad to find out I'm not the only one that stays up late and lets the kids sleep in. I do also love home schooling because of this!

Dec 29, 2007 04:14 PM #41
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

JESSICA - Better late than never, right?  I can't remember if you saw the photos already or not.  They are in the post which followed this one, I think.  Happy new year!

GINGER - Homeschooling allows for that kind of schedule for us.  Thanks for commenting - it's been good to see you around a bit more lately.

KATERINA - Traditions make the Christmas season special.  That is great to hear.  Thanks for sharing your story here.

TODD - In our experience, people who homeschool are MUCH more likely to sleep in more.  My wife said that she thinks it is a slight majority in her opinion.  Thanks for your comment!

Jan 01, 2008 04:46 PM #42
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Jason Crouch

Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)
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