In order to spend more quality time with the rugrats and the hubby, I shut down my computer Christmas Eve at about 9:30pm and didn't turn it back on until this morning. I would have happily stayed plugged in all Christmas Day, but I decided this year that I would do my best to focus on the girls and maybe even get a little rest.
Rest, I did! We snacked on leftovers and candy from the stockings all day and Scott made dinner for us all, so I didn't have to cook. We all say around in our PJ's most of the day. The TV wasn't on, and even the computers stayed off most of the day. Everyone was so content trying out their new presents that boredom was not a real issue at all. I never did get around to making those pies for DH, and now that he is out camping for the next five days, I won't have to make them until he comes back.
I will have so many great memories from this year. The girls were up at 6:30 am and were nearly bouncing on our heads to get us up. Our tradition is that no one opens up presents until everyone is up to enjoy the gluttony together. Once the pot of coffee was brewing, my dad was up, so we didn't have to reign in the girls for very long. EG got her first turn to be the "Elf" this year - the person designated to read the labels and hand out the gifts. She was very excited to be allowed to read by herself with out any help.
Our tree is a small one - only about 3 1/2 foot - so we place it on a square side table and we put presents under and around the table as well as under the tree. The whole area was so covered with gifts that it took a good fifteen minuted for EG to pass everything out. Another tradition in my home is that we take turns opening gifts one at a time. This allows everyone to see the reaction the recipient has to the gift and it also helps to help draw out the fun a little longer. Instead of 10 minutes of freakish gluttony, we have a leisurely time over about an hour unwrapping things and oooing and ahhing over every little thing. It is my favorite part of Christmas morning, I think. I very often completely forget about the pile of gifts on my lap while I am enjoying the smiles and OMG's from the rest of the family.
Mommy and Daddy managed to do pretty well in the gift giving department this year. Santa did pretty well, too. He must have gotten their letters very early on because he brought them EXACTLY what they asked for. Gramma and Pops (DH's parents) scored the biggest points this year. They must have been in league with the Big Man himself because whatever Santa didn't bring from the wish lists, they managed to get instead and the girls were just ecstatic. EG's prized possessions this year were a magnetic dress-up princess, Polly Pocket doll with more clothes, and a purple striped Sock monkey. TD got a piggy bank with a set of markers to decorate it herself, a miniature set of My Little Ponies with dress-up clothes, and a pink striped sock money. LH made out the best, I think with a really awesome MP3 player and a whole slew of art supplies, sketch books, and journals. DH got an adapter to hook up a regular hard drive as an external/portable drive. I got a new set of headphones that I can use at work (no more sharing headsets with strange poeple!) Even Poppa got a stainless steel drinking bottle and a back scratch-er that can break down for transport. I think the best thing all around was the stereo/CD player that we gave to TD and EG to share. LH already had one and she didn't need it anymore now that she had the MP3 player that also plays FM Radio. She gave her boom box to the EG so now EG and TD both have their own stereos. Even better - the grandparents gave each of the girls their own set of ear buds (color coordinated for each girls) so I don't have to listen to a war of Hillary Duff vs. Kelly Clarkson battling it out on high volume all day long,
The stocking stuffers, as usual, were as big a hit (if not bigger) than the wrapped gifts. The tiny, zippered duffel bags from Daddy and the assorted holiday activity books from me have been keeping all three girls quiet and occupied all day. Every now and again one of them will disappear into the bathroom and come out with her hair pulled back by a different colored sparkly headband, courtesy of the the grandparents. Because we kept candy to a minimum (as usual) we haven't had too many sugar-related meltdowns, either. In fact, the only one dealing with a bit of a grouchy mood here and there is EG, which is pretty natural considering she's only six and hasn't gotten nearly enough sleep in the past few days.
So, it's noon the day after Christmas and thing life feels like it's running smoothly again. Maybe this is a good omen for the New Year.
The only hitch now is having to deal with LH and her wonderful habit of injuring herself during holiday breaks. Two days ago she fell off her bike and scraped up her elbow, hand, and knee. Everything seems fine today except for the wrist that she landed on. Also, she managed to get a staph infection under her thumbnail and we have been fighting it for over a week now. 7 days is the limit of how long I will wait before calling in the professionals. So today, instead of going shopping with my gift cards, I will most likely spend the evening in the ER waiting room. It's nothing I haven't been through dozens of times before. At least this year LH has something to keep her quiet and busy (her MP3 player) and I have a a few knitting projects I am working on, so things shouldn't be as painful as they have been in the past.
Wish me luck and that LH's injuries are as minor as I think they are.