The chaos of Christmas here at Casa de Katie continues. And it has been wonderful.
Christmas Eve (Christmas Day to the rest of the world) was pretty picturesque – that is, if you enjoy childrens who are all “Can we open presents now? Now? How about now? Now?” Fortunately for them, I’m rather fond of excited children on Christmas Eve. Also fortunately, we made a list to keep the littluns busy. They took baths, we made gingerbread houses, we baked actual gingerbread for Santa, we watched the snow, they played in the snow, the girls helped Auntie Kim wrap a few presents. Oh! And my darling daughters cooked dinner for me! Auntie Kim helped them make us homemade macaroni and cheese since we couldn’t have our traditional Chinese food take-out.
Finally, finally, after Bee threatened to eat me (“You’re tasty meat!”) it was present time. Our tradition is to open family presents after dinner so we can remember what we got from each other and what we got from Santa. Gracie’s favorite present was her radio-control car and “Fiber! I mean, Fibber!” game from her sister. She also loved her Shake It Up shin-high chucks with rainbow laces that she got from Grandma and the camera she got from me. I don’t think she’s taken off the moccasins she got from Auntie Kim – just ask her to show you how she can move in them like Sully from Dr. Quinn. Bee flipped out over the Fur-Real puppy she got from her sister and her new gray fancy boots from Auntie Rhi. She got furniture for her American Girl doll from Auntie Kim and a scooter just like her sister’s from me. Oh! And Bee got a foal for her American Girl dolls from me and said, completely deadpan, “I wanted a pony.” Kim and I exchanged a look and told her, “That is a pony.” “No it’s not,” she explained, “It’s a horse.” What’s the difference? “A pony is smaller,” she explained, like we were three-year-olds who were a few crayons short of a box. Okay, many crayons short of a box. It was hilarious, all the way around.
We got the kids to bed pretty early – being up late the night before and up early that morning at their dad’s house helped a bit. Also? The threat that Santa couldn’t come until they were sleeping. Love that one. And boy did Santa come early: I have it on good authority that he was here and gone by 9 p.m.!
Christmas morning went rather like all the other Christmas mornings (except for one) – I woke up first and everyone else was a giant sleepyhead! I had told the girls they could wake me up at 5:30 a.m. I woke up at 6:30 and realized they weren’t getting up at 5:30. So I sighed, rolled over, and went back to bed. I finally gave up trying to sleep at 7 a.m. and got up to see if Santa was there and to make coffee. I made the coffee, turned up the heat, and shut off the house alarm – and still no one woke up. Not even Auntie Kim. And she’s a morning person! Finally, the girls woke up just before 7:30, and they went to get Auntie Kim while I waited by the tree. Good lord. Everyone was very appreciative of their presents. Everyone got lots of movies and books (I got 63 of them. Squeee!) and quite a few games. Like Just Dance: Abba. Ohhhh yeah!
But my favorite moment of the morning was when it was time to read the note Santa had read. The girls were waiting to hear the P.S. – Santa usually adds a note that says “P.S., since you’ve been so good this year, an extra present is in the front room.” or something to that effect. This year, Santa wrote “P.S. I’m very sorry, but I couldn’t leave any extra presents this year.” The girls were shocked. Then they didn’t believe me. So I showed them the words. Before the tears could start, I continued: “Just kidding!,” Santa wrote. “I believe the phrase you use is ‘tricked you’?” The girls ran for the front room. Gracie found the giant Hogwarts castle that she and Auntie Kim are still putting together. It took me a minute to see what Bee had – she pulled hers out of the bag, screamed, and ran off to show Auntie Kim: “LOOK WHAT I GOT! I GOT IT! I GOT IT! LOOK WHAT I GOT!” After I slowed down the blur that was Bee, I saw that she had a Leapfrog LeapPad. Hopefully it helps her catch up in school. Good call, Santa.
And with all of that, there was still snow on the ground. What a great Christmas!