Well, Christmas was nice.
First off people told me I wouldn't be able to get my daughter to sleep. She'd be too excited. Well she went to sleep at bedtime and woke up at Sensible O'clock. So that's a success. I heard from a few people that their kids didn't sleep at all. Which makes Christmas Day sound like it would have been a hard slog. Of course the two nights since then the kids were up and down. Christmas night my daughter crawled into bed with us and stayed awake for hours. She told my wife she couldn't sleep because one of my ears was glowing. Then when I rolled over to see her she said quite seriously, "I'm awake Daddy. How are we going to solve this problem?" By me going back to sleep until the early morning rage takes over. Which is when my daughter kicks me too much and my wife insists that the duvet needs to be rotated and then realizes she was wrong and has just stolen my corner. Which very much happened. Last night we needed the kids to sleep so we could paint. My daughter woke twice - once to tell me the World's Tinniest Man was driving a car around her room and then again to tell me her brother was awake. He also woke up two more times to tell me that he was awake.
But anyway - back to Christmas Day. No snow for once which kind of sucks to me. Central NY is nice all year, but one thing that tops it off is that the snow season rocks. This year it has snowed two inches when it should have crapped a good 30-40 already. And this is the first real year we've bought expensive (to us) gifts. WE don't really want to drift into a materialistic thing. But I bought my wife a pretty expensive Le Creuset dutch oven and she splurged on a Keurig coffee maker for me. The kids enjoyed their trains, cars, underpants and stuff had a grand time while we waited for the other family members to show up hours later.
I'm unclear on what our Christmas traditions will be. My wife and I have had ten years plus of it but not stuck to anything. And my daughter is four so we've had a few but this is the firs one she really gets. My wife had a few rules when she was a kid. You weren't allowed into the living room until everyone was dressed up especially nice and everyone was ready to go in. Then they'd have the fire on and Christmas music on the radio. I don't recall any traditions for myself. We just told our kids not to go downstairs until Mom was up. I'd already be up doing whatever it is I do when I'm alone. Obviously I put the TV fire on. I chose the PBS one over the ABC network channel one because it looked warmer and the Christmas songs they chose weren't just tinkly piano versions of classics.
As far as gifts go we all were happy. I think we all got a kick out of people's surprised and happy faces when they opened things. My wife and I had no idea what we'd gotten for each other. And my daughter genuinely picked out all her gifts to give so was very happy when people got them. I even got beef jerky which is challenging news for my colon for a few days. My son has pretty much played solidly with his stuff. He love his train very much and seems to think his underpants give him a peacock like quality. My daughter got a bean bag chair as she had begged for. She didn't know what it was mind you. But after learning what that big blob actually is she's been extremely pleased with herself. And she loves her camera which thankfully takes decent quality pictures too. All the things sent from overseas were well appreciated and played with. And nobody lamented angrily that they didn't get an Iphone, car or whatnot like so many seem to be still today online.
After the in laws showed up it was nuts. They really go in for present giving. Last year it took over three hours to open them all. They have a tradition of steadily one-by-one plodding through each gift opening. And then the person who got the gift has to use it in it's intended way. So if someone got something that requires assembly they have to sit there and assemble it before we can move on. Then they get the next gift. We pretty much just let my daughter get a gift for whoever came next and nobody minded. The only other real traditions as far as gifts go are that my in laws family always get WD40 for Christmas, and the boy of the household gets a Hess truck to play with. Which is what my son got from his grandfather. The kids also got beds from the in laws too. That was a surprise and will take getting used to. We've slept with the box springs on the carpet for a good decade and I can see why other people think it's weird.
As for food it went excellently. My wife is a planner extraordinaire and did it to a tee. It took a minimal amount of time and there was plenty of good delicious food. There were even four or five Cornish game hens to spare at the end as people shared. Personally all I wanted was roast potato and gravy to swim in. Everyone went nuts over the desserts too. I'm glad we went with the hens. I don't get weirdos who go for lasagna and a baked ham at Christmas. Lasagna makes no sense when you've eaten 20 of them all year (not to mention 100 other incarnations of pasta, sauce and cheese) and then eat one again to force some sense of cultural identity into something when it isn't needed. And ham - really? Ham to commemorate the birth of the most famous Jew in history? Not cool.
And the whole in-law family over was good. Everyone was pleasant and good and didn't mention minorities, socialists or feet once. I managed to not be too disgusted at the sight of other people's children even though one of them was under two years of age. And the kid that makes me seethe was mostly good. She did two things that I stopped though that have her marked as a window licker for life. The first was taking a handful of pencils and crayons up to the top of my stairs and just chucking them all down. Then when I stopped her she desperately tried to do it again and complaining that I was stopping her. That's the behavior of a to-the-bone twat. Then whilst everyone else was munching away on Christmas dinner my sister called. So I sat in the living room to take the call. During which time I had to physically stop that girl from trying to cut off the tail of her own Christmas present with toy scissors. But other than that they were all nice and I think I was as well.