The Slowest Christmas Ever
We started our Christmas at something like 8:30am and opened the last gift around 8:30 pm.

That was one long day of consumption.

Now before you go emailing me and wondering how we got the kids to hold off until 8:30 am, I'll tell you. All our bedrooms are upstairs so after we moved all the gifts under the tree, we sealed off the entire upstairs at the stairway with wrapping paper! hahaha. What's even funnier is that the kids asked what time they could get up and I told them they could wake up any time after 4am if they wanted to, laughing to myself the whole time about how evil I was for setting them up for major frustration on Christmas morning. Selfish, selfish I am! Two of Tony's kids actually SET THEIR ALARMS for 3:50am so they could get up and dressed in time for 4am!!! We, of course, had only been asleep for 2 hours ourselves when we heard an alarm go off and then the baby woke up for a bottle. Tony went out and there were already two frustrated kids pouting in the hall. I think they all eventually went back to sleep but I wish he had gotten pictures, just to humor me :-) So Addy and I slept in until 8:30 am which is when the fun finally began.

We don't prescribe to the whole "tear into every gift like crazy and open them all in 2 seconds flat" methodology. We don't really have a methodology but that isn't it. So we try different things every year until we find what works best for us. Some common goals are to have others appreciate watching each other open gifts and enjoy others acting as recipients, instead of just themselves. And also having and respecting a kid's desire to use what he gets and really enjoy it instead of prying him away from the toy to open more presents. So those are the two goals.

This year we decided to do present opening in "rounds". We let each kid open a few presents and took a break to let them play with what they just opened. We thought it sounded good in theory and I guess, in practice, it was a huge success. Problem was the kids took huge long breaks and, like I said, the whole gift-opening process ended up taking 12 hours!!!!! Thankfully that was our Christmas. We don't do lots of celebrations with family everywhere or on separate days. So one day of over-consumption is it, for us! haha

The kids had a blast and we thought the day was nicely paced, if not exhausting. We just reheated (disappointing) appetizers from the night before and then ordered in Chinese, per our tradition, for dinner. It was lovely and low key. Addison was still overwhelmed but she did just fine.

Today began Mass Organization. It is the part of the holiday I love almost as much as watching the kids open gifts. Putting stuff together, ditching the packaging and trash, cleaning up the kitchen and getting ready for our New Year's Eve festivities. It feels good to clean and organize and purge after such over-consumption the day before, I think. We got a lot done and met all our goals for the day so that was good.

Tomorrow doesn't bring such fun. Noah has an abscessed tooth - his second in just six or so months. He'll have to have it pulled tomorrow and he's not really sweating the procedure but is totally stressed out about the gauze they use afterward which he HATES. If you know me, you know I am totally *phobic* about all things tooth and dental related so I made him a deal that I would not freak out about his tooth if he braved through the gauze. We shook on it. He's so sweet. So off we (we being Tony and Noah) go tomorrow to lose another tooth. I'm really depressed about it. Now he will have no teeth on either side of his top front two teeth and he won't grow those permanent adult teeth in until he is around 8 or 9. Sigh. It just totally changes the way he looks. I hate it. He's still my baby and I hate anything that forces him to look older than he really is.

Hope everyone had a great holiday. Thank you for all the kind thoughts about the adoption video. It was fun, although emotional, to put together.
posted by Stepping On Legos at 12/26/2006§

I haven't been able to make the video work yet - but I'm trying! I love the story of your CHristmas - it sounds great! Mine involved CHinese food too...
I think Addy's picture with Santa is the only picture I have ever seen with a small child NOT crying.

She is so cute!
wow, talk about making the fun last a long time! We try to make the kids wait and take turns, but that's about as much as we can slow them down. I'm with you, I like the day after better. :-)
I like the idea that you enjoyed Christmas ALL DAY LONG!!!! So glad your holiday was nice!
I love your Christmas plan, especially the part about ordering in Chinese for supper! We live too far out in the boondocks to do that, but man it sounds fantastic. I need to read back through your blog - I am way behind. I live in Indiana and am a medical writer, we might have more in common than adorable children from SE Asia :)

Hi there.

I have been following "your story" for some time now. It has been a pleasure to watch this joy unfold in your lives and gives me the utmost hope that I will have a similar experience in our own Vietnam adoption.

Thank you for posting the video that brought us to tears -- so amazing of you to share that touching story.

Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your words. Merry Christmas.
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Name: Stepping On Legos
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