The Jumble of Christmas


Christmas with an almost three-year-old. What on earth can I say about that? He was so excited and yet, I’m so glad to see it over with. There were plenty of unexpected gifts, and he actually got quite the haul. With all of the fuss though, I’m now of the firm opinion that there are phases with small children and gifts; not all of them are adorable.

Phase 1: So Shiny! Wrapping paper, lights, bows, ribbons, the works. And it’s all deliciously irresistable. Biggest did exceptional with this phase this year, and I only had to tell him once not to touch them until Christmas morning. Littlest, however, is still of the idea that shiny things should also be tasty, and will make great effort to ensure that testing of such things is done often and thoroughly. Quality is everything people!

Phase 2: For Me?? This excitement lasts for exactly 5.33 minutes. Or 320 seconds. Whichever you prefer.

Phase 3: Open it! After unwrapping for exactly 5.33 minutes (or 320 seconds), your child will undoubtedly want to play with whatever he/she just opened.

Phase 4: More for me? When confronted with the fact that there is still more to open and that we can’t play with it until the rest are unwrapped, we will return for a significantly less awesome Phase 2. It’s also a lot shorter.

Phase 5: Why me (the parent)? After repeating various versions of Phases 2 – 4, we will get to the point of no return. That is, you as the parent will be convinced that getting small children to unwrap said gifts with all the bows and ribbons is a test. For you. And you’re failing miserably.

Phase 6: Not Happening. Again. Ever. Ever. Period. Once you’ve realized that you’ve failed the test, you will undoubtedly decide that gifts are ridiculous, and wrapping them even more so. You vow that next year every child on your list is getting exactly one gift, and it’s being wrapped crappily in newspaper. If you can stop pounding your head on the wall first.

*disclaimer: I may have exaggerated slightly.

Christmas was actually rather enjoyable. My Christmas Eve Extravaganza actually turned out well, and despite years past, was served on time. I had a terrible time finding a recipe for Apple Crisp that didn’t involve weird things like “orange zest” and “candied ginger” and “shaved cocoa beans from a little tiny island that nobody knows about”, so I mixed apple pie filling (from my head) and an oat topping (also from my head)… To my amazement, it turned out delicious. Take that internet recipes! Biggest and Littlest made out with a haul after supper from Hubby’s family, including a huge pop-up train tent that fits into a tiny little bag when not in use. My only problem is trying to tell Biggest that it’s not “broke” because I put it in said bag. He also got a balance bike, happily adopted as his “motorbike”, and an Elmo car that he is unfortunately terrified of. Granted, Elmo is a little terrifying to begin with, and Biggest has no idea who he is (the whole no TV thing is to blame)… I think it’s kind of hilarious, because it’s supposed to drive around without controls, and every time it backs up into something, Elmo honks, spins in a circle, and says “WOW THAT’S GONNA LEAVE A DENT!”. Gets me every time.ย  Maybe I’ll snitch it until Biggest stops cowering in a corner (his terror was hard to believe at first, because when he originally opened it, he played exclusively with it). Littlest got some epic stuff too, including a singing snail that you can use for tummy time, sitting up, and crawling. He adores it. Also, everything he got met with the Littlest Seal of Approval (known as “is this tasty?” “Oh! It is!” “Om nom nom”).

Christmas morning was happily lazy, with a pancake breakfast (or leftover apple crisp in my Dad’s case), followed by the unwrapping phases previously mentioned. I really don’t know if Biggest even remembers half the stuff he got. Between the cardboard oven I made him, and the baking stuff/tea set my parents got him, he’s been happily insisting everyone have “coffee” with him. When he’s not in the train, of course. Or playing with the city blocks Grammy made for him. The Transformer Bots, Fix-It set, and the travel kit, on the other hand, are off in a corner for now. Secretly I’m glad, because if he had to play with all of them, he’d probably explode. Not to mention, the travel kit is for (duh) traveling, so he’ll be quite excited the next time he goes for breakfast at Pappy S.’s. I will note, also, that the blankets (tabby for Littlest, and a bigger fleece for Biggest), have both been thoroughly adopted, as were all the books they were given. Oh! I almost forgot, we got blessed this Christmas by one of the stores we visit! They knew we were having a rough Christmas, and gave both the boys a book and a critter, happily adopted as well. It gave me one of those happy Christmas pauses that give you the inner warm-and-fuzzies. I like warm-and-fuzzies.

Here’s to hoping the rest of you survived the ribbons, boxes, bags, packages, bows, and paper. And didn’t have to bawl your eyes out (like I did last night) once everything was over with.

The Handler.

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