Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009

I set up my laptop in the kitchen this morning so I could post some pictures for Tom and Charlotte and the family in England. Throughout the day I’d walk by and refresh Facebook to see photos of everyone else’s Christmas. I’ve enjoyed them all but I’m left with the same little disappointment I feel every Christmas since I’ve had kids. I see extended families gathered, old and young together. I see this and I’m jealous. If we had extended family to spend Christmas with us, maybe someone else’s kids could lower the behavior bar. Someone else’s children could, potentially, make my kids look pretty good. Cousins with ill behaved children would work well. Someone I could give a sympathetic smile to as they wander off to wrangle their offspring.

Ah but it was a good day. I slept in much longer than is really admissible on Christmas morning and made the kids wait to open things until the adults were finished with breakfast. Cruel, cruel grown folks we are. But anticipation’s part of the fun, right? Finally it was time but instead of a mad rush I asked them to each open one present one at a time so I could record it with the Flip camcorder from Tom and Charlotte. This was almost too much for them but it will be nice to watch later. The dilemma for me is always how to juggle the camera, the list (Thank You cards are a real pain without it), and gift opening. Now add a camcorder. Because no one else will do it. When I was younger I used to think my mom got so many more gifts than us because she would always have several left when we were finished opening ours. Now I’m just like her; no time to get to them. I wish we would all just take turns opening things but that would require each child to get the same number of gifts and I’ve never taken things to that level of organization and accuracy.

Michael surprised me with an audio system for my iPhone and a Chi flat iron as well. No more curls! I made out like a bandit with gift cards, a big box from L’Occitane, and lots of other goodies. The best part was watching the kids open things they were really hoping to get. Always priceless photo ops. And dinner. Mmmmm dinner. I think I could eat prime rib (ends please!) every day of my life. There’s quite possibly nothing I love more in the Delicious Meats Department. And the Ghost of Diets Past (Dr. Atkins) assures me there’s nothing wrong with it.

After dinner Dad and Michael installed the new flat screen TV and although there were a good number of near panics, melt downs, and epithet hurling (none from Michael . . .) it is now up and we’ve basked in its HD glory. It is magnificent and I covet it unapologetically. It was as if those goats on MythBusters were right there in the room with us.

The night has come and as I write I hear my father and husband critiquing the suit on the KOMO 4 weather lady. They are not impressed. Another newscaster joins her on the screen and Dad wonders what would happen if they got into a cat fight. And if perhaps the one with big hair has cookies and stuff hidden up there. So many channels and yet there you go! This is my entertainment.

I have to say I’m happy to have this season of overdoing it over with. I’m ready to get back to somewhat tamer times. Sam, on the other hand, has his sights set on next Christmas already. As I sat down tonight, this is what he said:

Sam: “Mom! I want to learn to build a time machine when I grow up."

Me: "You just watched 'Napolean Dynamite' and you still want to build a time machine?"

Sam: "Yes. Next Christmas can I have a red Spike the Ultra Dinosaur? And wouldn’t it be easier if Santa just brought one big box with all our presents in it?”


It never occurred to me that present opening was a hardship! Things are pretty darned good if you can complain about that. But it would save me a lot of time wrapping gifts; maybe he’s on to something. Oh my. What a day!
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