It is so fun and exciting to watch the kids open their presents - even the older kids. My high-schooler was absolutely thrilled that we bought her a new iPod cable. A cable was the best thing she could have hoped for since her old one was broken and taped together. How sweet that something so simple and inexpensive could make her so happy.
My baby got a box of Duplos from his grandma and yelled, "Legos, legos, legos," while his big brother helped him open it. He was in heaven. Today my husband finally assembled my baby's police car - the police version of the cozy coupe - the kind the kids ride around in and use their feet to power Fred Flintstone style. He can only go backwards and keeps looking for the police lights and sirens, commenting on how it's broken. Bummer.
My middle son hit the motherload with the tiniest little present, an iPod with a wall charger so he can take care of charging it himself. Ironically, I trust him to not lose it, but I would surely lose it if he handed it to me to charge, which is why we opted to buy him his own charger. He said he was so happy and truly was, although I know he was wishing for a fancier model. I really appreciate that he didn't complain once about the model or about the time it took to load his music. He was just happy to have it.
As for me, my favorite present was an envelope full of tickets so I can leave the house to go out to write guilt-free with a corresponding five dollar bill for every ticket (so I can snack while writing). While I loved my other gifts, especially the ones from my kids (a coffee cup and winter scarf), this one is what I need the most.
My husband was a little impatient this Christmas and asked for the new book from his favorite writer on Facebook (the one I had purchased and wrapped for him a full month ago). Two days before Christmas, he nearly bought a video game for my kids that we had already bought just for him. The look on his face was so sad when I proclaimed that I didn't want another video game in the house, that we had enough and the kids didn't need any more distractions. I felt horrible and thought I had broken his heart, so we let him open it on Christmas Eve. He howled with laughter, realizing the reason I was being so unreasonable about the video game.
My husband also has a family tradition that I don't get, that he's been wanting to do for the last four years. His parents put fruit in the stockings, which doesn't make sense to me since we have a fruit basket on the kitchen table that's perpetually filled. At midnight on Christmas Eve this year, I filled his stocking with fruit from the fruit basket. My big kids thought it was very thoughtful and hilarious at the same time. Christmas morning, my husband was so happy to see his stocking filled with oranges, apples, and Christmas cookies.
It was a good day. I am sorry it's over and that we didn't take more time to play together as a family - we were all exhausted from late night present wrapping and too early present opening... and the baby puked at noon. Tonight, the day after Christmas, I plan to have family game night so we can play, enjoy each other and reflect together about Christmas to make it last just a little bit longer.