Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas with E: The Sequel - Bigger and Better!

Christmas this year was awesome. Just plain awesome. E knew exactly what was happening, and was in a perpetual state of enthusiasm that infected just about everyone on the planet. Somehow, and if I didn't believe in miracles before this might have just done it, we drove from Brooklyn to Kingston with a baby, without stopping, and without a single complaint from the kid. She slept for some of it, but woke up at the indecent hour of 11pm and chatted her way through the last two hours, trying to fool us into believing that she could "See GrammaPapa's house from here!" and reminding us that it was "Cold and dark outside!"

We rolled into Kingston just before 1am and it took about 3 seconds from key-in-lock for GrammaPapa to spring out of bed to greet the intruders. I don't seem to remember them being so perky when I did this as a teenager. Nevertheless, everyone was very excited to see each other and by about 2:30am J and I managed to get the three kids back to bed before collapsing ourselves.

My hopes of sleeping in were dashed around 7am when a little voice announced "All done sleeping Mama!" I tried valiantly to restore us to a peaceful state of unconsciousness, but gave up the battle after an impressive 90 minutes and released the beast to torture someone else for a while. It turns out that grandparents are willing victims. Christmas Eve was a whirlwind of last-minute shopping, wrapping and chocolate indulgence, followed by some baking and the hanging of stockings. We set out some treats for Santa and the reindeer, we read a few Christmas stories and we ran around naked for a bit before being convinced that Christmas morning comes faster when you're sleeping. After E went to sleep the four Santas got down to business, two of us doing the heavy lifting while the other two supervised from the couch. I'll leave you to guess who got the cookies and who had to settle for the carrots.

Christmas morning. It was perfect. E slept in until 8am so the grandparents were already awake. As much as I had wanted her to wake them up with squeals of excitement, she wouldn't have been able to pass by the tree without noticing the avalanche of gifts and I'm glad that we were all there to see her eyes pop open with surprise and her face engulfed in her smile. She distributed gifts, she waited her turn when opening them, she played with everything and she only ate one or two chocolates, preferring to snuggle with one of the eight million stuffed animals she received.

Shortly after waking up from her nap, the other GrammaPapa arrived from Toronto and the gift-opening frenzy started all over again with a hearty "I need more presents!" She ripped and shook and clawed her way through another mountain, and even helped mama and dada with their gifts. By then she had worked up quite an appetite.

She was the star of the show during dinner with proud mama and dada and both sets of adoring grandparents all at one table. The meal was delicious, and the company was divine. It was a perfect end to a perfect day. It was just the right amount of fanfare, without the overstimulated meltdown at the end. We'll just gloss over the period from 3am-5am completely.

Merry Christmas everyone! It's true what they say that Christmas is about the kids. There's absolutely nothing as joyful as watching your little one light up on Christmas morning. And at this age, it's not about the presents. It's about Santa and furry reindeer and twinkly Christmas trees and just the magic of Christmas. The presents are nice, though.

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