Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas 2006

We knew it would be an interesting Christmas, what with Marissa being more interested in opening and playing with presents than it was last year, when she was only 5 months old. We made it through the day with only two timeouts and one major meltdown -- on Lindsey's part.

We started the festivities on Christmas Eve, by going to the local United Methodist Church's 4:30 service. They tell the Christmas story with participation from any children from the audience who would be interested in wearing costumes to play the parts of angels, shepherds, wisemen, sheep, etc. Lindsey, of course, would have none of it and was only interested in seeing the baby Jesus, played by a 3 or 4 month old (a girl, we found out!). She was rather disappointed in the baby Jesus, as s/he was wearing a bright red jumper, and wasn't in swaddling clothes as the story told. And she could only get a glimpse of the baby through the congregation.

Near the end of the service, one of the pastors came to the front to announce that they typically took an offering on Christmas Eve, and they hoped to raise $10,000 for their various missions that day. I later said to Wayne, "How many months do you think it would take your hometown church to raise that kind of money?" I'm sure that for a church of this size, packed to the rafters for all four Christmas Eve services, $10,000 was not a stretch goal.

We went home, had dinner (stuffed pasta shells that had been baking all during the service), then got ready for bed. Lindsey was in bed and sleeping earlier than usual -- we had said many times how Santa only comes when you're sleeping, and she was insistent on being asleep as soon as possible. We put out the traditional cookies and milk, and as Lindsey followed us around for these preparations she said to me "I'm scared!" I think the thought of a stranger entering our house was frightening to her, and she wanted her bedroom door shut all the way. I told her Santa was much too busy to come up to see her, he would just drop the presents off by the tree then would be on his way to deliver presents to all the other boys and girls. She was out by 8:45 -- usually it's after 9:00 by the time she's done reading her books.

Then...Christmas morning. Lindsey awoke at 5 am and Wayne put her in our bed to finish out her night's sleep. She kicked me in the back all through the next two hours -- unintentional, but obviously in need of some legroom! Then at 7:00 we heard Marissa wake up, and two seconds later, Lindsey was wide-eyed next to us: "I think Santa came!!"

We were downstairs in a few minutes, and both Lindsey and Marissa were enamored with the train set that was left for Lindsey. Marissa glossed over the Little People house, but she couldn't get enough of the balloons that were in their stockings that Wayne blew up for them! Another highlight was the $2.99 play cell phone that was in each of their stockings, too. Who knew?

We took turns opening gifts and alternately eating and playing with what had been opened until about 10:00, stopping once for a meltdown when Lindsey didn't want Marissa to play with her Hippity-Hop, and insisted on trying to open a present with one hand while hoarding her Hippity-Hop with the other. A time out and a scream fest for a bit, then back to one present, and finally some breakfast.

Marissa is better at eating than Lindsey -- she doesn't get distracted by things like toys, Christmas and Santa -- she was downstairs and right to the table. Any time Wayne or I took a break to grab a little something to eat Marissa was right there with us, ready to sit down to nibble some more. Lindsey, on the other hand, didn't want to stop opening presents to eat, thus the meltdown. She finally got a little food in her tummy too and was in a better mood.

After all the gifts were open, though, the struggle continued between Lindsey's desire to play with Toy #2 while NOT allowing Marissa to play with Toy #1, which Lindsey had been ignoring until Marissa decided she wanted to play with it. Lindsey was even hoarding Marissa's toys, until we finally had to sequester Lindsey to the upstairs until she learned how to listen and share. It took a good half an hour of screaming and kicking, but finally she settled down, got dressed and was polite and sharing. We had lunch, then off for a nap.

Aaahhhh, a nap, the pleasure of having Christmas at your home with no relatives coming (Sorry, Mom & Dad!). Marissa went down, followed by Lindsey -- Lindsey wasn't even asleep yet and Wayne, Dax and I were snuggled in as well for a lovely two hour nap, all of us. Dax couldn't be happier than being under the covers, curled up against your legs for a nice snooze.

We all awoke at about the same time, then watched Lindsey's new DVD, Cars. Then Wayne made dinner while I pre-emptively fed Marissa. Seeing as Marissa doesn't eat steak, we decided to feed her first, so that we could enjoy our dinner instead of feeding her at the same time. She ate two (count 'em, two) hot dogs, a whole cup of corn, 8 oz of juice and then when our dinner was ready, she ate a little potato all by herself, too. Yep, I'm not worried about this one getting enough to eat!

All in all, it has been a wonderful Christmas!