Little girls smiling proudly post holiday-choir-concert.
A movie/sleep-by-the-Christmas-tree night.
White elephant gift exchange with the “grown ups” at my parents’ house (always good for some laughs – the sweat pants made to look like jeans were a big hit).
Singing Christmas songs with Mike’s family.
Opening birthday gifts -- including my personal favorite: coupons from my kids (20 minutes of brushing my hair? Cleaning the kitchen? Yes please!)
Annual Christmas Eve pictures with my sisters. (Alas, one sister is missing. Fortunately my parents bought tickets for a mom/sisters’ trip to go visit her in TX this February! Texas? I’ve never been. Can you believe that?)
And, among the other miscellany, a Christmas day Nerf gun war – compliments of cousin Devin (who came, carting bags of weapons, like some sort of apocalyptic Santa). Mike set up some targets originally, but it still ended in all out battle. The safest way to keep too many kids from crying seemed clear to me: everyone attack Devin. In the end Abe commented that this was a great Christmas . . . but that it wouldn’t have been even half as great without that Nerf gun battle. Now that’s Christmas spirit!
That super happy face I am making as I look into one of my gift bags? I got Magna Tiles! They are really a kids’ thing. I desperately wanted to get them for one of the kids for Christmas, but a decent sized set is pretty expensive and we’d already purchased a lot of gifts by that point, so we didn’t get them. Instead . . . Mike surprised me by getting them for me for my birthday a few days after Christmas. (Which has turned out pretty great since now all the kids can use them – but I can give turns, and curtail fighting, and allow someone to go and sneakily use them all to themselves in my room every once in awhile – which they love.) They have built non-stop magnetic creations ever since . . . except for when I take them away because, you know, they’re mine.