I thought I'd send you a note to let you know how Christmas went and give you a few tips for future Christmases.
First, I want to apologize for the sad state of our tree.
We didn't decorate it before we went on vacation.
Christmas was fast approaching by the time we got home and settled, so the only ornaments that ended up on the tree were the few we bought in Disney World, a couple homemade ones from Elise's Girl Scout holiday party, and the angel on top. It looked a bit sparse. We'll try for a more festive fully-decorated tree next year, I promise.
You know those cookies we leave out for you every year?
The whole baking thing just didn't go so well this year. I was looking forward to an afternoon of listening to Christmas music and baking with my children.
It sounded good in theory. We would measure, stir, crack eggs, laugh, and bond. Baking is one of those long-standing mother-daughter holiday rituals, right?
Instead, I spent the entire afternoon listening to them bicker... "You got to stir for a long time, and I only got to stir for a short time!", "Hey! It is my turn to pour the sugar in.", "No fair! You got five chocolate chips, and I only got four.", "Mmmmommmm, she's using the good spoon again!"
Nothing like listening to a fight about Christmas m&m's to put you in the holiday spirit. Santa, if you insist on home baked cookies, I will bake them myself next year after the children go to bed, OK?
Now, on to the gifts. We are thankful for all of them. Everything looked beautiful as we came down the stairs.
Addie fell in love with her big stuffed Brobee from Yo Gabba Gabba and her cool fairy tent.
Those were both big hits. I don't mean to nit-pick, but there was one slight problem. The whole "family gift" thing of the Wii and Wii Fit completely confused the other two. I'm sure you didn't anticipate that since it was such a nice generous gift and all, but instead of the "Oh WOW! A Wii! Awesome!" reaction that you might have expected, it was more like, "Hey, who got the Wii?", "If she got the Wii, what did I get?", "Whose games are whose? They don't have tags on them.", "What did Santa leave for me?" There was much confusion over the "family gift". Maybe next time, put out a family gift along with just a little something for each of them. Heck, even just putting name labels on the games probably would have solved the issue. Anyway, despite the confusion that morning, we are all enjoying the Wii. J.C. and I have been hogging it, but we let the girls play occassionally. My back and arms are sore from flapping my wings flying those crazy birds on the Wii Fit. J.C.'s abs are killing him from Wii hula hooping, and J.C. and I have stayed up ridonculously late every night playing Toy Story Mania.
I have a few suggestions for future gifts too. Although I know some kids don't like getting books for Christmas (like that little boy whose YouTube video went viral. He was on the Today Show this week), Elise is a bit of a bookworm and loved all her books. No need to keep books out of her stash.
Addison appears to be turning into a doll girl just like Elise, so I think you will have many Christmases in the years to come with American Girl dolls and doll clothing on her list.
I also have a recommendation for you for any rock-loving kids on your list. Addison gave Nina a Crystal Mining Kit.
It is basically just a big hunk of plaster with crystals in it. It comes with all the tools you need for "digging and excavating" to find the crystals.
I'm pretty sure no other toy EVER in the history of House of Estrogen toys has held Nina's interest like this one. The child sat perfectly still, patiently scraping away fine dust particles for HOURS. From the time we finished opening gifts until the time we dragged her from the table to get dressed for lunch, she never once moved from this chunk of plaster. I loved seeing her so engaged, but I'm still sort of flabbergasted by the whole thing. Addison and Elise were racing around the house, high on Pez, bouncing from one new toy to the next while Nina hammered, scraped, and dusted, and hammered, scraped, and dusted some more.
This is a great gift for any junior archeologists on your list next year.
My last recommendation is regarding stockings. I know you probably thought the Zhu Zhu pets were great stocking stuffers since the girls love them so much and they are just the right size. You nearly woke up the whole house though filling the stockings. Everytime a stocking moved or you added something to it, the Zhu Zhu pet started squeaking and yapping. I could hear you downstairs cursing them trying to figure out how to shut them up. Fortunately, I think the girls slept through it, but you just got lucky on that one. Those creatures were very noisy! No more Zhu Zhu pets in stockings.
Overall, it was a wonderful Christmas. Please give our love to Mrs. Claus and the reindeer. I hope they enjoyed the reindeer food the girls sprinkled in the yard.
Happy New Year!