Our Christmas Day is spent mostly in Fall River, but we do like to wake up in our own house and start things out there. It's getting a little complicated - trying to fit everything into the time we have. One of the main issues is that my Grandma just can't really travel very far. One option would be to have the whole family up to Somerville, but that would mean that we can't see Grams - and that's just not a very good time. So we start out with Christmas at our place and then head down to Fall River. Another wrinkle is that Grams can't really go to my parents either because she needs a wheelchair to get around and they live on the third floor in a building with no elevator. A few years back Gordon and Eric actually carried her in her wheelchair all the way up the stairs. But yeah- that wasn't such a great idea. So now the day goes like this:
- wake up in Somerville, open our gifts
- pile in the car, drive to Fall River, meet at cousin Gail's for dinner with everyone, Grandma included
- Grams goes home and we all head back to my parents to open more Christmas gifts with them.
- pile a bunch of loot and an exhausted and overstimulated toddler into the car and drive back to Somerville where we all pass out.
At leas that was this year's schedule. Last year we actually did gifts at my parents BEFORE dinner at Gail's - but as Lily gets older that's just impossible. This year she had a few gifts from us at home as well as a stocking stuffed by Santa. She doesn't really get the whole Santa thing yet - but does love seeing pictures and decorations featuring him. It's sort of funny, because in her mind he's always accompanied by a snowman - thanks to the christmas decorations of some neighbors. So if you mention Santa to her she'll say "AND SnowMAN!".
Checking out the loot - new kitchen in background
Ninja Shirt! from Santa (who apparently reads Mike Adamick's blog)
Although she does enjoy receiving new toys she's very slow at the gift opening thing. She wants to play with everything she gets right away! It's very sweet and we hate to rush her through it. We'd love to foster the whole idea that there are only one or two gifts anyway - as opposed to the mountain of materialism that is so prevalent at this time of year. It's even more overwhelming for her since her birthday is only a few days before - presents! everywhere! everyday!
Once we had wrapped up at home - and Gordon had finished packing up the prime rib that he woke up at some insane hour to get in the oven - we piled in the car and drove down to Fall River for dinner at Gail's:
Posing with Uncle Eric
Big fan of the new guitar from Gail & Bev
Uncle Eric and Liza
Grams checking out her 2009 Calendar
After dinner we went back to my Mom's to get Lily (and Gordon and I!) a short but much-needed nap. Then everyone else came back too and there were MORE PRESENTS:
My Mom even admits that she went a little overboard this year. Seems she mistook the amazon WISH list that I had created for Lily for a shopping list. Lily loved all her new toys though - one big hit is the animal hospital complete with a doctor's kit, keys to open the animal rooms and little animals to care for. She enjoys getting all of her animals into the game. She puts boo-boo cream on ducky and takes her cat's temperature. Uncle Eric and Liza gave her a number of pots and pans and dishes to go with her new kitchen as well.
Our last stop that evening was a visit with Justin, Chi and Justin's Mom Karen. Then we got in the car, fired up the new Elizabeth Mitchell CD and listened to 'Lil Liza Jane about 20 times on our way back to Somerville. Much to our surprise Lily remained awake the entire drive home - we were sure she would crash. However once she got into her comfy crib it was lights out:
(Gordon captured this one with his super-cool new birthday present flash - you can't tell but it was totally dark in the room and she is really asleep)