Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas, a day late

I hope this finds everyone reading it recovered from yesterday's festivities. Our Christmas was fun, if a bit exhausting. Since B's parents' divorce, our house has become holiday central. We invite everyone who is willing to be have like a grown-up and act nice. The first year, B's mom decided not to attend any of the functions. But we're all past that now. Because we're the hosts, we've started our own tradition of having Christmas brunch instead of a big dinner late in the day when everyone is worn out. B and his friend Jim cook up eggs Benedict, and I make waffles from scratch, and everyone drinks champagne and orange juice. Well, everyone except the kids and B's mom, who has never had alcohol on her life.

The day started early with Ella's hitting our bedroom door with a thump. Once she managed to get the door open, she started yelling that Santa had come and he had brought her a new bike. And it had a bow because it was too big to wrap. And it had a kickstand just like she asked for. And it was blue just like her old bike.

We let the girls open their stocking present while we waited for my parents to arrive from the hotel. My sister spent the night at our neighbors' house because they're out of town and offered their place as guest quarters (we have the best neighbors ever), and she staggered over pretty early. The best line came from Ella when she opened the new toothbrush that was in her stocking. She said, "I got a new toothbrush, and it hasn't even been in the potty. I wonder how Santa knew?" A week ago I had caught Campbell splashing in the potty with one of the girls' spinny toothbrushes. They made do with regular old toothbrushes until Santa coughed up with new ones. The girls also got modeling clay and tape in their stockings. The tape has become an annual tradition in our house.

Campbell got overwhelmed in all the commotion of present unwrapping, and I had to take him out of the room a few times to settle down. Finally, I popped him in his high chair in the kitchen to eat breakfast. He was much happier after that.

My big gift from B was a trailer for my bike so that I can tow Campbell and Lily along when Ella and I go on longer bike rides down at the Trail. My parents gave me a new rack for my car so that I can carry all the bikes down to the Trail. It was a theme Christmas. I gave B a huge griddle for the stove so that he can cook a pound of bacon at the same time. I also got him a big bacon press, but it hasn't arrived yet.

The girls got lots of things from their lists to Santa. Lily got a new copy of "Arielthelittlemermaid" to replace the one that's gone missing. She also got a bathrobe and a new winter coat. Santa brought her a new bike helmet, per her request, but it doesn't fit. So we'll have to go buy a replacement. She also got a tea set from my mom, and they've been having lots of tea parties ever since.

Ella's bike was her big present, and it was a big hit. It's bigger than her old one, and more of a mountain bike, so it took some getting used to. But by the end of the day, she was riding through the grass and hopping off curbs. I'm sure she'll be begging to go out and ride as soon as she finishes breakfast. I think I'll turn her loose with Grandpa. He can ride my bike.

Campbell got a little trike of his own - I told you it was a theme Christmas - and he's had a great time riding it all over the house. Unfortunately, he's into creative bike riding, and he's fallen off about a dozen times. He has a few new lumps on his forehead as a result of some of the tumbles. The girls love to sit on it too, but every time he sees one of them on it, he screeches and pushes her off. It's pretty funny. They've taken to getting on the trike just to see his reaction.

So today we'll be picking up the mess and finding room for the new bathrobes and slippers and sweaters, and we'll be riding bikes and having tea parties and watching some new movies. It should be a very good day.

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