Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas 2010

Another year and another great Christmas, our first as a family of five. If I tried to capture all of the details, it would take me forever, so I’ll just stick to some basics. In some ways, it’s hard to believe it’s already come and gone. I wish I had listened to more Christmas music than I did. Maybe then the Christmas season wouldn’t have felt so fleeting.

Melanie grew up with the tradition of acting out the Nativity on Christmas Eve. She wanted to carry that over to our family, but this was the first year we’ve done it (though we didn’t wait until Christmas Eve). With a four- and a two-year-old as our lead actors, the production was a bit more avant-garde than we would have planned, but that’s OK. Edison and Peter did their best in the various roles which they played. Here is a picture of them in character as, respectively, Mary and Joseph, at the door of the inn. Mary (Edison) is holding onto the donkey, played skillfully by air molecules.

The traditions continued on Christmas Eve, when Melanie again prepared a delicious soup that was served in bread bowls. This year’s soup: Pumpkin Coconut Bisque. If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to taste butternut squash soup, this is in the same ballpark—or, should I say, gourd patch! LOL!—though it was quite gingery. It was yummy, though it had over a day’s worth of saturated fat in it. (Sorry, I’m sort of stuck in that mode lately!) Adding to the richness, we drank egg nog. Both the egg nog and the soup were sprinkled with nutmeg. For good measure, we also had Mountain Dew. It was wonderfully indulgent. Here are some pics:

Knowing we would have lots of presents to open on Christmas morning, we let Edison and Peter each open a gift on Christmas Eve. They did this last year and received Christmas blankets, which they then took with us as we drove around looking at Christmas lights, another Christmas Eve tradition. This year we let Eddie and Peter choose what to open. Edison ended up opening a super cool helicopter from Grandma and Grandpa with the Silly Car (Melanie’s parents, so-named because Melanie’s mom drives a Volkswagen Beetle—a model of car that a younger Edison once dubbed “silly”). Peter opened a new kitty cat from the same grandparents.

Like last year, Edison and Peter fell asleep during our drive to look at Christmas lights. Unlike last year, Edison woke up when we got back home. Fortunately, he easily went back to sleep, and Melanie and I were able to get to work on prepping for Christmas morning. We wouldn’t be to sleep until around 2 a.m. Of course, we were up by 7 a.m.

Christmas morning was great, but Edison’s being one year older made a big difference in how things progressed. Last year, Eddie and Peter were content to open one gift at a time and spend quite a while playing with it. The unwrapping process lasted all day, which was neat. This year, Edison was much quicker to move on and to want to unwrap another gift. Peter followed suit, so things moved much more swiftly. It didn’t start out that way, however. The first gift Edison and Peter discovered was the fire station Santa Claus left, a kind of doll house complete with three identical (and disturbingly pantless) firemen, an ambulance, a fire truck, a helicopter, a fire pole, a Dalmatian and dog house, and various furniture (everything from an outdoor grill to a large screen TV to a treadmill). Eddie and Peter have loved the fire station. They have played with it more than with anything else, and they spent the first while on Christmas morning playing with it alone. It was almost an afterthought when Edison finally moved on to find his stocking. Peter was even slower to move on. Throughout the day, they continually returned to the fire station. It helped that they eventually opened another set of smaller but fully-dressed firemen. It’s become quite the busy fire station.

Notice the lack of pants on the fireman. I think we may have gotten the stripper version of firemen. Careful, Santa Claus!

Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about Creegan. From what I can tell, Creegan enjoyed his first Christmas. He peed and pooped and ate and cried and spit up and everything. He really seemed himself, so I think he was having a good time. And yes, he received presents, including a stylish new outfit from my parents, pictured below.

Although it looks even better out of the box...

Surprisingly, Creegan himself gave out some gifts. Some of the best gifts of the day, in fact. Smiles. He’s only started smiling very often this week, and Christmas was one of the best days for it. I got the biggest, longest smile from him ever that day. Sadly, the huge smile was long gone by the time Melanie grabbed the camera, but we still got a few good pics. Here are a couple of them:

I got some cool stuff. One of the coolest is a digital scale for the kitchen. Now I can weigh in grams or ounces just how much cheese I’m eating, etc. This will really help me in keeping track of what I’m eating. Another really fun item I received is the new Michael Jackson CD. I know there has been some controversy surrounding it, but overall, I think it’s a very good album and I’ve enjoyed listening to it. Melanie also received some gifts that I’ve benefitted from. Aside from eating some of the treats she got, I’ve utilized her new family-size grill. (Not to be confused with the kind of family-size grill that cannibals favor.) I first used the grill for Christmas breakfast, which consisted of egg nog French toast and a hash brown / egg / sausage medley. I’ve since used it to make grilled cheese sandwiches. It’s nice not having to make one piece of French toast or one sandwich at a time. The grill is a nice addition to our home.

Aside from half-naked firemen, Eddie and Peter both received Nerf guns, swords, Transformers, sleeping bags, an indoor tent (jointly shared between them), books, and more. Our movie collection also swelled. We went from owning zero movies on Blu-ray to owning six—Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; Despicable Me; The Sixth Sense; The Dark Knight; Inception; and Slumdog Millionaire. If that weren’t enough, we also got some DVDs—Bolt; The Pursuit of Happyness; Lars and the Real Girl (which I strongly encourage everyone to see, despite the fact that the setup sounds like it could be questionable—it’s one of the sweetest movies in existence); and the first two seasons of 30 Rock. Santa found some great deals, I think, and I’m not sure his helping elves always realized how much the other helping elves were doing. Not that I’m complaining. We actually haven’t bought movies in quite a long time, so this was fun.

And that’s that. Here are a few final pics, just to round things out. I hope everyone else had a wonderfully merry Christmas!

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