Saturday, December 25, 2010
Duuunnn (insert Irish accent)
I'm not hearing any noises coming from the various rooms in my house where children are supposedly sleeping. For all intensive purposes, that signals the end of 14 hours of Christmasing. And no bah humbugs here, we all had a great day, but wow, it's nice to collapse.
This was the first year I had the kids - last year they went to their Grandma and Grandpa's in California with Matt. And it's interesting - somewhere a day or two ago, something snapped in me. All of a sudden, that perfectionist in me that I've been trying hard to corrupt over the past year rose up with great gusto. All of a sudden, I found myself standing in line for 10 minutes at Ulmer's to get the perfect stocking stuffer tube of lip gloss for Théa that I had forgotten in the first round. And before I knew what was happening, the house had to be spotless, and relatively organized, and the pile of laundry had to be put away, and and and... madness.
It was also admittedly an interesting experiment to try a joint Christmas with Matt. It seemed to work for the kids for the most part, especially Liam, but it did make for an interesting day. We had stockings and gifts for each other with Chris in the early morning (early, really early, what a cliché), then Matt came by with a literal truckload of presents for the kids - whoa. As usual, they made out like bandits. Liam's favorite gift was the Millennium Falcon Star Wars ship that is literally the same size as the small trampoline the kids got from our friend Mike. Théa's favorite gift was a baby and a bottle and binkie. Good grief. But they got everything kids could ever want. Liam got an original Red Rider BB Gun from Chris, and went out for his first lessons this evening, just as my peace-loving parents and I were Skyping, which I'm sure left an impression. (On a side note, just in case they read this, though Chris does own more guns than anyone I've ever met, he speaks French and he did vote for Obama.) Théa got sparkly stuff and puzzles, and a barn with animals in it. They also got a Wii. I don't know how I feel about all the screen time, but Liam for one was thrilled.
What I found about this Christmas was that while lots of the details had changed, the main themes remained the same. The holiday bread didn't rise until midnight, just like usual. There wasn't nearly enough sleep, way too much stuff, and even more candy. But what's not to love about wading through a house covered from one end to the other with wrapping paper and the voices of joyful children.
We finished up the night with a dinner of home-grown roast chicken with all the trimmings, and Chris joined us for the evening. The kids were fruitcakes by then, but kept it together enough to clean up a bit before bedtime stories. Now it's quiet. It's so cold outside - single digits of brrr. The wood stove is going gangbusters and it's still more comfy with a blanket on. And I am completely and totally at peace with it all. I hope it lasts for a little bit.