We picked a great weekend to head down to DC to visit family and do a little early Christmas. And by great I mean holy hell, there is a crapload of snow out there and if we’re lucky, we might make it back to New York by tomorrow if I put down the computer and we leave this very second.
When I first heard word on Twitter of DC folks tapping out the eggs and bread and toilet paper from the local shops I rolled my eyes. Oh, these provincials. But when it came down to it, it was my nieces who appeared ready at the door in snowsuits and heavy boots, hats and scarves and probably some sort of newfangled child-insulation technology straight out of the labs of NASA. My girls? Jeans. Cotton scarves. Knit mittens. And boots…or at least they would have been in boots had I not lost them somewhere between the front door and the snow storm.
Good thing my children are impervious to cold for the first 30 seconds.
The day was built around this early Christmas, and this year we decided we’d limit gifts to something small for each kid and skip the adults. It was a far cry from the insane giftapaloozas of past years, in which the kids became so overwhelmed by, oh, present number three (let alone 27) and their 60-ton stockings, that Thalia would slink off to play with some ribbon by herself in a corner before melting into a pile of overstimulated, quivering nothingness.
(The one exception was the pair of child’s scissors she got in her stocking when she was three, which turned out to trump even the tricycle that year)
So yesterday, presents–far fewer presents–were exchanged, cheers were shouted, gift books were read, candy canes were devoured, stickers were fought over. You know, Christmas. Only smaller.
A funny thing happened last night though. As I tucked the four girls into bed and asked them their favorite thing about the day, they answered Candy canes. Drinking hot chocolate. Singing Jingle Bell Rock together. Licking the snow. Using crazy straws in the milk.
Either the spirit of Christmas really isn’t about presents like Boris Karloff has been telling all these years, or we just got them really crappy gifts.