Busy busy Christmas.
In the past - on those years when the other parents have had out eldest two for Christmas morning, we've done our gifts (except stockings) Christmas Eve day. Santa only brings stocking gifts to our house. Given today's busy schedule I think I prefer it that way; today was nuts. Although a good time was had by all (for the most part; there were the usual kerfluffles involved with five personalities and a long day and lots of food in short spurts and more family than we usually have time with in a month or more).
Oh, nothing major, but Leanna is at that age (11) where every incident of teasing is grounds for major offense being taken (especially when it involves "inappropriate cow parts", as Leanna persisted in calling them - see below). Abby (9) is in the counting gifts stage, and Lizzy (4) - although happy with what she got is so excited she can barely function. Both of the older two are at the stage where nothing is quite enough. If I allow them two pieces of Christmas candy, they are sad they can't have three. And Lizzy has hurt herself three or four times in the past 24 hours.
We got Leanna as usual on Friday evening, and then on Saturday afternoon we went to Auntie's for dinner, grossed out the older two in the car on the way to Leanna's mom's house afterward (the chat went from the Christmas Star through stars and galaxies and whether there is life on other planets and whether we could eat food on other planets and how there's gross food right here on Earth, which led to Rocky Mountain Oysters and Abby needing to exit the car at Leanna's mom's in order to avoid carsickness). Then we met Abby's dad here at our place and left carrots and a cookie and milk out for the Fat Man and his friends and wrapped the last few gifts and went to bed.
Christmas morning we (Hubs, Lizzy and I) went to Grandma's house for breakfast, came home and waited for Leanna's mom to bring her to us after church, ran up to Abby's dad's (about an hour drive on a normal day, about 40 minutes on a holiday, but during a sudden windstorm and rain hard enough to make Laston-the-Texan pay attention), hung out there for about half an hour, went to my cousin's house for Christmas Day Dinner as usual, ran to my mom's to do gifts with her and my sister's family, and then home to do our own gifts including stockings.
And even though we are poor this year, our kids made out like bandits. This was in large part due to grandparents sending us money and saying, "buy them something from us," and also because we found a really great deal on the bead style of charm bracelets on amazon.com (the bracelets themselves were like $10 apiece, and the beads we got in bulk - 100 of different styles and colors for $20). They got each other stuff, and got us stuff and really, some of this is actually beautiful. Abby made me a snowflake ornament out of beads at girl scouts and Leanna got her dad and me a game, and Lizzy made us a snowflake ornament at preschool. Abby got Lizzy that package of ranch dip mix, which - when explained to her - caused Lizzy to shriek with glee and leap up and hug Abby because it was "PUH-fect!" Abby got Leanna some ZhuZhu Babies and got Lizzy some Lollypop Dolls (her dad gave her money to shop for us in addition to the stuff she created at Brownie scouts. Leanna got both her sisters baby dolls. Aunt Laura - as always - got the girls inspired gifts (off their wish lists for Leanna & Lizzy, and a Powerpuff Girls journal for Abby). Grandma Cheryl too. Aunt Steph got lovely earrings for Leanna and little outfits for the other two. Their biggest gift is locked in our apartment office until Tuesday but they'll get a chance to play with their toys before that comes in!
And me? I got a game and a voucher for a massage and a box of fancy cookies, and a book I recall from adolescence, and some pretty earrings, and quite a lot of chocolate, and Hubs & I got a gift card to Bone Fish Grill (and I presume an offer of babysitting so we can go to BFG without the children as decreed by my mom, the gift giver).
A good holiday, in spite of the rush. Next year we have the older two for Christmas morning. I think the following one, we'll go back to celebrating the gift-giving part of things on Christmas Eve morning. Since Santa only brings us stocking gifts there's no reason not to.