As most families, we have some pretty funny Christmas stories. Every year brings at least one new memory for the books.
There was the year that one child opened all the presents two weeks before Christmas. All of them. He did try to rewrap them, but he was maybe five and it didn't work out in his favor. It was very obvious that someone had gotten into the gifts and it wasn't the dog.
And, this year, when the same child drew inappropriate pictures on the gift tags. I didn't realize he had done this until he gave his sister his present and pointed out the gift tag by saying, "Look, look at the tag. It's two balls." Then I had to check all the tags on all the gifts and redo tags. So glad I caught that before all the gifts went out.
But our favorite so far, and the Christmas story that all others are measured by, was the year that the same child caught his hair on fire during the Christmas Eve candlelight service at church.
Now, as a mom, I'm reluctant to give any young child fire, but they were handing out the candles to everyone as we walked into the sanctuary. I mean everyone, toddlers were carrying candles. I wasn't too worried because I was pretty sure he would break the candle before it was lit.
You should know that said child was seven and he had a huge afro. He was very proud of his hair, he had been growing it for months and for the Christmas Eve service he had actually let me comb through his hair and it was pretty poofy. (His words.)
The candles are lit at the very end of the service and he was pretty restless, all the kids were restless. The flames was being passed row by row successfully and our children managed to light their candles while daddy and I watched intently. Everything was going fine. I was actually more worried about the wax that was dripping onto the coat that belonged to he woman sitting in front of us. I was secretly wondering if the church covered the drycleaning for the wax clean up on all of the damaged clothing. While I was comtemplating wax removal, the boy blew out his candle (because that is the best part of having a candle, extinguishing it) and sprayed wax everywhere. At least, fire was no longer an issue.
Until he tried to relight his candle with his brother's candle. Daddy told him "no" and the boys seemed fine with smelling the smoking wick. But with the candle out daddy and I stopped watching and focused on the singing. That was a mistake, because a smoking wick can be dangerous. We found this out when the lady behind us started whispering, really loud, so it may have been more of her just talking, "His hair is smoking, his hair is smoking."
And it was smoking. Right on the top of his head, right at his hairline, smoke circling around off of his forehead. Daddy was so quick. He had that smoke out before we could blink and also thanked the lady for letting us know. Whew, disaster averted.
Until we got home, and looked closely at the damage.
Burnt hair smells really bad. And there was quite a bit of singed hair. So much that someone needed a haircut. On Christmas Eve. At midnight. It didn't happen. And that Christmas we suffered with the stench of burnt hair, but rejoiced in the child.