Christmas is 2/3 over. My sisters and I decided to celebrate our Christmas on New Years Day, since around the 25th usually gets overloaded. We'll see how it goes this year. But it does mean Christmas decorations stay around for another week.
I'm not sure I can even find my children under the plethora of toys we have. On the plus side, it is spurring me on to get the garage cleaned out so that I can store some of the favourite toys that just won't fit in the playroom. That garage has been driving me crazy for months! At least twice a year I get in there and organize it, but somehow garages never stay tidy for long.
I tried to be very discriminate about the gifts we got the boys. I did cave to pressure from James and got them a few more "toys" than I wanted (which was only one for each!), but they also got some movies and books and art supplies. What was crazy was that, as I was looking for one last gift after one fell through, I couldn't find a single thing on the Toys R Us website that we didn't already have, in some shape or form. How many big trucks, small playsets, puzzles, and trains can you have? I just don't see the point in buying a second of something we already have, just to fill our the present pile.
And yet, no matter how many or few gifts the kids are showered with, they will always revert to the simplest games. After the opening of presents Christmas morning, the boys wanted to play a Lego game on the computer they have recently discovered ("screen time" was not as strictly monitored over the holidays.) And this morning, they have spent much time playing "opening presents" - they find a toy, tell the other brother to close his eyes, and then place the toy in his hand and say "here's your present!" Caleb's variation is to even pretend with an imaginary toy, presenting his cupped, empty hands and pronouncing what the imaginary present is.
Me? I was spoiled with a Kindle (electronic reader.) I was on the fence for a long time whether or not I would enjoy one, since I love the feel of a book. But since I love classics, and they are mostly available for free, I think it is fabulous that in one tiny thin, paperback size machine I can hold hundreds of books at my fingertips. It is a fantastic solution to the terrible library collection we have in town. And reading it really is marvelous - it really does look like paper.
The only thing absent for me this year is Boxing day shopping. While I might hit a store or two tomorrow evening while the boys catch a movie in Brampton, I didn't hit the stores bright and early on Boxing Day (Sunday this year) and shop the stores and malls all day, searching for good deals. I think I've been hit by the "too much stuff" fever, and the thought of buying and bringing in anything else into our home is maddening! So other than a nice winter sweater, a swimsuit for our upcoming vacation, and a case for my Kindle, I'll just layoff the extra shopping this year.
I think my favourite part of Christmases this year was the music. Everywhere I went, and everyday at home, I had my guitar out and strummed through favourite Christmas songs. With James' family, it was mandatory that everyone perform a song (or reading) before opening presents - even the boys. Caleb performed three verses of the "Reindeer Pokey" and Colin wowed the crowd with "When Christmas Comes to Town." (Yes, they were videotaped for posterity!) We also went caroling as a family (the five of us) on Christmas Eve, driving around to several neighbours and friends' homes. That was the most joyous part of the holiday, seeing the joy we brought to their faces as we sang a few songs, then sprinkled "reindeer food" on their front lawn to bring Santa their way.
I would love to post a few pictures, but this year we really just got right down into the middle of it all, and we rarely remembered to step back and snap a picture. Hopefully we'll be able to retain the memories, knowing that we enjoyed every moment together as a family.