Thursday, December 31, 2009

So this is Christmas

We were able to have some family with us for Christmas after all. It was Megan's year to have Christmas with her inlaws, but her husband had to work until 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve so they weren't going to be able to make it to California in time for Christmas. They drove down on Christmas Eve and left early in the morning on the 27th to fly to California. It was nice to have someone besides ourselves here for Christmas though. The boys are old enough to be REALLY excited for Christmas this year, but it was nice to have company over the age of 4.

Last year my mom gave us The Elf on the Shelf. It is a book that tells the story of an elf who lives with you each December and reports back to Santa about the behavior of the kids in the house. It comes with a little stuffed elf. Every night starting on December 1 after the kids go to bed we hide the elf somewhere new and then in the morning they find it. Or that is the goal. More than once that silly elf forgot to hide somewhere new during the night. The Elf is also the source of our month-long threats. "Will, the elf is watching"..."Will, the elf just saw you take that away from Sawyer"..."Sawyer, the elf is going to tell Santa to put you on the naughty list." Will desperately wanted to help me make chocolates, but I told him he couldn't because he was sick and I didn't want him touching the food. He informed me "Ohhh...the elf is putting you on the naughty list: Doesn't let her kid help. That is naughty. Sorry, Mom. It's not my's Santa's rule!" Will has also been known to go in the other room so that the elf can't see him be naughty. The elf usually leaves with Santa on Christmas Eve, but I might have to make him a year round resident. Is it bad if my kids have an elf rather than a conscience?

This was the first year that we had the boys buy each other a Christmas present. I'm not sure how I was envisioning that playing out. I guess I pictured them happily choosing a gift that they would lovingly give to each other on Christmas Eve. It ended with Bryce dragging them both screaming out of the dollar store while I stood in line to pay for the things that I picked out for them to give to each other. Amazingly, they only wanted to choose things for themselves. And threw tantrums when I said they weren't buying toys for themselves. So that went well. The joy of giving. I think they've got that down.

Will wrote his own letter to Santa this year. Remind me next year to make him write it earlier. He wrote it on about the 23rd and, of course, nothing on his list bore any resemblance to the things he had been telling us he wanted Santa to bring him. We had to do some explaining on Christmas of why Santa didn't bring exactly the things he wrote on his list. For weeks Sawyer had been telling us that he wanted Santa to bring him "candy." So that was easy enough. Until the 23rd when he started saying that Santa was bringing him a monster truck. Bryce made a last minute lunch break trip to Target to solve that one. I figure, the Santa years are so short that you might as well do what you can to let them believe while it lasts.

Speaking of Santa, in our house all of the presents come from Santa. I know people do things different ways, but that is the way it always was in my house. I hadn't foreseen this causing difficulties until Will started asking what Mom and Dad were giving him for Christmas. He thought it was a little unfair that he was supposed to pick out a present for Mom and Dad, but Mom and Dad didn't have to give him anything. So Mom and Dad gave the boys their own pocket size copies of the Book of Mormon with their names on the cover. They were pretty excited to have their own scriptures (another advantage of youth...I'm sure scriptures won't always receive such an enthusiastic reaction).

I wasn't sure they would make it, but the boys survived to see Christmas Eve. Their excitement level had been rising throughout the entire month until I thought they'd either pass out, make themselves sick (they are my children after all), or bug me enough that they'd be permanently locked in their rooms. On Christmas Eve they put on a little nativity play...complete with a cat pillow as baby Jesus.
We sang some carols and read The Night Before Christmas. Then the boys opened their presents from their aunts and uncles and grandparents on my side (a tradition from my family to separate the family presents from the hustle and bustle of all the Santa presents on Christmas day). They stayed up to see Megan and Chad who arrived at about 9:30 and then we put them to bed at about 10:30. And we didn't hear from them until 8 a.m. Hallelujah!
Christmas was opening presents while Skyping with family in Connecticut, staying in pajamas until about 4 p.m., eating breakfast at 11:30, and all the other great Christmas stuff. Sawyer had a little freak-out in the middle of the present opening. He didn't want any presents and just cried and cried. I think he was a little overwhelmed and a lot tired. Then he snapped out of it and went on with the opening. That night Megan and Chad watched It's a Wonderful Life with me, thereby saving me from watching it by myself. The end of that movie gets me every time. You know, when everybody in town comes running in with the money. And crappy old Potter gets away with it every time, but it doesn't matter because he's just a miserable old man. Sigh. Please tell me you watch this movie.

Another benefit of having Megan and Chad here was that they got primary toy assembly duty. Of course, since I didn't assemble them in the first place I am going to be useless when it comes to the constant re-assembling throughout the year.

Here is a bonus picture of Christmas morning with my siblings. 1991: The year of the perm and New Kids on the Block.


JoandDoug said...
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JoandDoug said...

and the year of big glasses apparently. Thanks for all the good laughs! Your kids are the best! I'm pretty sure the hands down the pants is the best thing I've seen in a while. You should blow it up and have it hanging on the wall every time a new girl comes to meet the family. Sounds like there were good times had in both Texas and Idaho. Sophia asked where you were in the picture with Santa Shamu and I told her it was Sea World and that it was kind of like Disneyland and that we'd take her there someday. Her response was, "no thanks. I don't like that place". Thansk for saving us $200 Sophs!