Well, Christmas is over and done with, and even though this was a lean year, somehow it still looks as if a toy factory exploded in my living room, and we've no idea how all the new stuff will fit in a room that didn't have room for all the old stuff before.
Christmas Eve the girls and I wrapped the last of Book's gifts and stashed them away before heading off to pick him up for the night. As we drove past Wal-Mart at 7:30 pm, Gin piked her sister and said, "Take a look, Munch. That's the last time you'll see that. Wal-Mart is completely empty." I looked over and she was right. The parking lot was empty, as they'd closed the store already. I was a little surprised that it had closed so early. I expected they'd want to pick up the last-minute Christmas Eve shoppers. Anyway, I pointed out to Gin that we would indeed be seeing the same sight the next morning when we brought Book home.
We spent the late evening at my parents' house, opening gifts and doing the usual Christmas Eve thing. Pooh and his girlfriend (yes, they're back together again) even came in to share the night with us after spending the early evening at her grandmother's house.
We arrived home fairly late, and I sent the girls and Book straight to bed, as we'd be getting up early the next morning. Of course, that didn't go quite as smoothly as I'd hoped, so it was still at least an hour and a half before they were all tucked away, and I could haul out the gifts.
Pooh and his girlfriend were camped on the couch, so I simply told him not to snoop. I wasn't waiting any longer. Good thing I didn't bother, as it turns out, because he ended up sleeping on the couch anyway. And he didn't snoop at all. :)
Christmas morning, Book was the first one up - not for enthusiasm. He had a nose bleed at 7:30 a.m. He got himself a wet washcloth and asked if he should go back to bed. I told him not to bother. Within about 15 minutes or so, the girls were awake too. So we all headed downstairs to start Round 2.
Pooh popped right up and took delivery of his gifts right on the couch. He knew he was getting a new cell phone, but he wasn't expecting it by Christmas, so that turned out to be more of a surprise for him than I'd expected. What really surprised him, though, was the Bluetooth headset I got him to go with it. Surprising him at 18 years old is a challenge, so I was glad that was a success.
Book got a new book - naturally - as well as some clothes, a game, a talking Star Wars helmet he's been wanting for weeks, and assorted odds and ends. Munch got the obligatory giraffes (she's been obsessed with them since she was three), and Gin's gifts seemed all to be of the Hannah Montana or High School Musical theme.
After the gifts, we got all the kids dressed and packed up. We took Book back home to his dad's, and I dropped the girls off to spend the rest of the day with their dad and his mother. I would have kept them from him, but this is the first time in six years that he's gotten them anything for Christmas. He's living with his mother who just got out of the hospital for cancer treatment, so it really didn't seem right to keep them from having more of a Christmas with them too.
Pooh left to go to his dad's shortly after I arrived home, so I actually spent most of my Christmas day at home alone. It wasn't bad though. After the inevitable holiday stress, I was actually able to just sit back, watch a video and relax with no responsibilities at all. The house was empty, and I figured that the pile of crumpled paper, ripped boxes, yards of ribbons and assorted toy parts in my living room could do just fine where it was for the time being.