Much like last Christmas (blog entry), we celebrated this year’s biggest holiday on Dec. 24. Unlike last Christmas, my wife worked through the holiday (five days straight, Dec. 23-27).
She still managed to cook a tasty evening meal that included: chicken, dressing, sweet potatoes, pineapple upside down cake, cookies, rolls, herb-roasted potatoes, rice-and-beans, apple cider, eggnog, Coca-Cola, and probably something I’m forgetting.
(5 images and links to several others after the jump)
Rebecca, though she acted like she was starving, ate only one morsel of chicken and one bite of a roll. She’d been refusing food all day, even Mommy’s milk, yet she didn’t appear sick in any way and was (mostly) in good spirits.
Before the meal, we opened our gifts at my suggestion — it was either (1) open them on the afternoon of the 24th, (2) open them Christmas morning without my wife, who would be at work, or (3) wait until late afternoon on Christmas Day. We eliminated #2 for obvious reasons and agreed that choice #1 was closer to our family traditions than #3.
We opened the presents in the office this year, though it’s the smallest room in the house. My wife insisted that gift-opening should occur in the presence of the tree, and the tree is in the office to protect it from Rebecca all this time. So we removed the baby-gate from the door — much to Rebecca’s delight, and she immediately tried to open and play with everything that wasn’t a Christmas gift — wires, CDs, my camera case, the computer, the filing cabinet, etc.
We finally got her corralled and opened a few gifts. Upon receiving her first toy, the “Corn Popper” (my wife’s always called it a vacuum cleaner, and I’ve always called it a lawnmower), Rebecca rolled it into the living room and abandoned us.
While she was away, we opened our presents to each other:
From me to my wife: two 9-inch cake pans, two Pyrex measuring cups (2-cup and 4-cup), two music CDs (“A Very She & Him Christmas” and “The Sing-Off: Songs of the Season”), and a book (“The Great Santa Search”).
From my wife to me: a DVD (“Sin City” 2-disc collector’s edition) and a LumiQuest Snoot XTR (light modifier for my flash).
Rebecca returned during this and jumped right in, snatching away our gifts and running around with them. She quickly realized it was more fun to play with wrapping paper.
Eventually, we went through the rest of her gifts. In all, she received:
* VTech Sing & Discover Story Piano (from us)
* VTech Learn & Dance Interactive Zoo (from us)
* Fisher Price Classic Corn Popper (from us)
* Fisher Price See ‘N Say (from us)
* Playskool Busy Poppin’ Pals (from Valentina)
* Fisher Price Classical Stacker (from Valentina)
* Fisher Price Classic Xylophone (from Heather)
* clothes (from Barbara Delaney)
* sand dollar tree ornament (from Tara)
Earlier in the month, we’d already let her have two presents early:
It’s difficult to say which one she likes the most. I think her biggest smile was when the Speak ‘N Say uttered the song “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” (image), but the one she’s played with the most in the past 19 hours is the Busy Poppin’ Pals.
The xylophone was a combination of pretty big smile and lots of play time:
This morning, when Rebecca finally came out of her room, the first thing she did was run (“scurry” is more accurate) over to her new toys and touch them all in succession, as if to make sure they were real. She’s been playing with them ever since.
I hope all you have had (or will have) a happy Christmas as well, and that all your traditional activities are worth the effort and expense. :-)
Edited to add (Dec. 25, 2011; 2:02 p.m.)
I finally uploaded pictures of the food: