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Holiday Reflections

Well, another Christmas has come and gone, and though my whining and complaining in the days (weeks?) leading up to The Big Event may have made December 25th sound like a tsunami rushing toward shore ready to crash onto my last nerve, crushing it and washing my sanity away into the abyss, as it turns out I may have been exaggerating slightly.  In reality, Christmas was more like a sudden riptide, dragging us all into the excitement and peril of the open sea before releasing its grasp so that we could drift back to shore and collapse in grateful but exhausted heaps on the sand, the Ocean of Christmas Cheer having left memories behind on the Beach of Family Togetherness for us to reflect upon as we recover, like so many bits of sparkly sea glass and small, smelly critters in shells.

If that isn't a beautiful metaphor, I don't know what is.  You're welcome.

I wanted to share some of our Christmas memories, but I only have about elevendy thousand photos to choose from, and I don't know if that'll adequately cover it.  I know that sounds like a lot of pictures, but in my family that only amounts to about nine usable images.  That's because half of them turn out to be too blurry/dark/unrecognizable to use, except I can't bring myself to delete them because they are  pictures of the children after all (or they might be, if only I could tell what they were supposed to be pictures of), and what kind of mother would I be if I deleted photos of my own offspring?  The remaining half are only of about two different Priceless Holiday Moments, but each event has 732 pictures taken of it Rapid Fire Style, so that it appears as though we either intended to create a stop motion film with the images or that we had a strobe light going during the festivities.

Blurry? Check. Angle such that any adult in photo will complain about how they look? Check. Variety Quotient between pictures at zero percent? Check. Oddly framed with at least one person's image cut in half? Check. My job as photographer is done.

What's even better is that any remaining photos aren't taken of some different  scene, but instead are pictures of other people recording the same  scene.

However, you won't be surprised to hear that there are a couple adorable shots of adorable kids.  I mean, we had to do something  to entertain ourselves while other people were opening presents.

After the dust had settled and everyone had been accounted for under the piles of torn wrapping paper and discarded packaging, several Holiday Truths were revealed which I will attempt to share in the following poorly organized list:

1.  I mentioned in a prior post that Jake had indicated a very specific and non-negotiable desire for Santa to bring him an iPad, despite my efforts to usher him gently toward reality without spoiling any Childhood Holiday Magic, since I was pretty sure he wasn't getting an iPad unless Santa had won the lottery without me knowing.  I'm not sure if he still believes in Santa, who did NOT come through with the iPad, but he does believe in Gran, who stepped up with a similar Non-iPad Brand Tablet.

Holiday Truths Learned:
* Jake is skeptical of Santa now, as evidenced by the fact that he suggested to Zoe that they set up a camera next year to see if they can catch him in the act.  
* Zoe DEFINITELY still believes, as her immediate response to that suggestion was a shocked and whispered, "Jake, he can hear you! He's listening. All. The. Time."
* You do not need Santa if you have a Gran who can't bear the thought of one of her grandkids being even slightly disappointed on Christmas. (Or any other time.)
* My favorite thing about Jake recieving this gift was helping him get something to work at one point while he was out of the room.   Zoe was sitting there and heard me say, "I need the stylus," because the touch screen wasn't responding to me just touching it.   Zoe sweetly offered, "I'll get it," then hopped up and hollered, "JAKE! MOMMY NEEDS A STYLIST!" Yes. Yes I do.

2. Christmas does not need to be expensive or fancy.  This was proven to me in several ways, most notably with the reminder that babies do not care one iota about Christmas.

We were feeling way too lazy Grinchy overextended to decorate, but we felt the tree should be up for Maddie's All-Important First Christmas.  In truth, the tree would still be in a box in the basement if Marma hadn't offered to assemble it for us, but thankfully she did, and we had the tree all spiffy three days before Christmas in plenty of time.  However, so far oblivious to the effort exerted primarily on her behalf, Maddie hasn't seemed to notice it.

Also, babies care exactly the same amount about the wrapping as the gift.  Maybe more.

Please note the lack of change in her facial expression as the Unwrapping Event unfolds in front of her.  Also please note that these are NOT the same pictures as the ones shown above - I told  you all my pictures look the same!  Also please note that the gift she is recieving there is indeed a baby remote control, which I couldn't resist even though I made fun of them mercilessly in a previous post.  I'm fickle like that.

3. The Holiday Spirit can show itself in unexpected ways.  For instance, if a boy (let's call him Jake) threw a bean bag at someone else's face (let's call her Zoe) on Christmas Day, and this Zoe person ran to tattle on him (SURPRISE) thus calling Aunt Audrey and Uncle Greg into referee duty, the following conversation might occur.
ZOE: He threw a bean bag at my face!
AUDREY (to Jake): Is that true?
JAKE: Yes.
GREG (trying to give Jake a Christmas Get Out of Jail Free card): But did you do it on purpose?
JAKE: Yes.
That, folks, is a little Holiday Honesty, brought on (according to Jake) by Gerry telling him that no matter what you've done, it's always  worse to lie about it.  The fact that Zoe keeps reminding Jake that Santa basically stalks them 24/7 (and he doesn't approve of lying) probably didn't hurt.  Jake may not belive 100%, but there's no sense in taking chances.

I also considered it to be a show of Holiday Spirit when Jake offered to download a princess coloring app on his new Non-iPad Tablet and let her play with it, despite the fact that he loves that tablet so much that he might soon decide to have it surgically grafted to his face.

Then Maddie gave me this pathetic, pleading look:

So I let her sit by her sibs while they all played with their tech toys of choice (DSi, tablet, and garish, blinky, noisy remote - which, once again, is being totally ignored).

And finally, in another example of Holiday Spirit expressing itself in the form of generosity, Zoe (who loves notepads) has insisted on giving us one of her magnetized ones, which I found on the fridge (note: sometimes Zoe drops the "y" that she added to the end of her own name, and substitutes an umlaut over the "o" - I honestly don't know where she gets this stuff):

Sigh.  I love Christmas.  I just hope I remember that next year, as another Holiday Death Spiral begins to unleash its frightening Power To Inspire Stress-Induced Snarky Blog Posts.  But I probably won't.

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!


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