I took only a few pictures with my camera over the course of the holiday… Chelsea took the lion’s share, and I have not yet had a chance to grab the pictures off her camera.
Also, for security reasons I can’t really show very much of our Christmas Eve setup procedure, but this is a teaser for you:
(Oh, okay: We have an Amazon.com-style warehouse picking system for gifts. It’s all set up in the attic. Chelsea did it two summers ago while the kids were over at my parents’ for a weekend. We bought the next ten years’ worth of gifts, wrapped them all, and organized them with barcodes. It was hard to set up – especially the part where we had to anticipate fashion trends that are still years away – but it’s making each Christmas a pretty stress-free experience.)
Right, Christmas. Maria had a Nutcracker performance at noon on Christmas Eve, so we picked her up after the show and then went for a late lunch. After that we swung by the Comcast Center for their holiday show on the big video wall – very cool! Next we went to Christmas Eve Mass at my uncle Herb’s parish, St. Thomas Aquinas in South Philly. The Spergers and Kings were well represented, and after Mass we all had dinner together in the rectory.
When we got home we finally got around to decorating our tree, since it has been standing naked in the living room for three weeks. Then we packed the kids off to bed and set up presents. Nick had the girls come and sleep in his loft bed for the night, so they were all together. It was incredibly sweet.
Setup for us was pretty easy, because my mom and dad had kept the kids overnight on the 23rd. It was a spur of the moment thing, and it worked beautifully. Chelsea and I plowed through wrapping and organizing gifts late into the night, and we had no kids underfoot. Beautiful.
Anyway, we got everything set up and crashed for the night at a decent hour – maybe midnight or so. We told the kids we would not start opening presents until 9:30 in the morning. They woke up around 7:00 and woke me around 8:00. Chelsea slept until 9:30, good as her word.
When we got started, Nick looked like somebody had left him plugged into a wall charger overnight:
Meanwhile, Anna was rocking the footie pajamas – probably the last time that anybody in our house will:
We got Maria a mountain bike for Christmas, so that she can more easily keep up with the rest of the tribe when we go riding. (She rode her single-speed 20″ bike all over the place with us this summer. Maria is a gamer.) Anyway, here’s girl and bike meeting for the first time:
We started with stockings. Anna was well pleased with hers:
Nick, on the other hand, was a little puzzled by some of our choices:
Maria has been getting some gifts that are variations on the theme of sweets for the sweet:
And finally, here’s Anna, in her shyness, showing off a teddy bear that was on her list:
More later. Merry Christmas to all!