Christmas with 18-month olds. MAN. Last year, when they were 6 months old, they didn’t understand A.N.Y.T.H.I.N.G that was going on, and I was dreaming about THIS year, when they would at least get some of it. Oh, me and my dreams. They still really didn’t understand what was going on. But they DID understand that we were surrounded by people- new(ish) people to play with and be adorable around – and that suddenly they had a whole bunch of new toys to play with.
Christmas eve is traditionally when my family celebrates – My dad’s entire side of the family gets together at one person’s house (we rotate) and exchange gifts, drink, eat, and tell stories about one another. This started when I was a little girl, and going back to my earliest memories there were about 18 of us (8 grandkids, 8 parents, 2 grandparents). Nowadays there’s more like 30 – us grandkids + various significant others, the new generation of great-grandkids – pretty soon we’ll have to find somewhere new to take the traditional stair picture.
Christmas day was also jam-packed – we started the day at home, to open presents quietly – with my parents, and my brother & his fiancee, and my sister. It became clear very quickly that Santa’s gifts were nowhere near as interesting as everyone else’s. But they had one hell of a good time, and that’s what matters.
After we successfully got presents unwrapped and got dressed, it was off to Grandma & Grandpa’s house for MORE present opening and MORE cousin time. I don’t have any pictures of this, but you can sneak over to my almost-brother-and-sister-in-laws blog to see his photos of the day (having amateur photographers in the family gives me so. much. joy.) After that, we drove around town for a bit to give the girls the opportunity to nap in the car (what, you thought they were going to nap between one present opening and the next? HA!), and then headed down to the extended family Christmas dinner. We had to leave before the big gift exchange – which was a bit sad, but life with toddlers – but the girls had a grand old time playing with the toys that were dug up for their amusement, as well as interacting with everyone there (also, running laps is a big thing right now. Just start at one arbitrary point, run to another arbitrary point, run back, lather, rinse, repeat). When we finally got home, it was straight to bed – do not pass go, do not take a tubby, go directly to bed.
Technically, the holiday ended there – but of course, the weekend had more socializing in store for us! Saturday afternoon my uncle brought my grandmother over to hang out and gossip – and see the girls, of course! She was over for the entire afternoon, and it was great seeing how much the girls interact with her now. Sunday I met up with some friends for lunch and we got to catch up and play with the girls and – again – it was amazing how independent and interactive my kids are becoming.
Now I need to hide in a cave for a week or two, because that was a lot of socializing for one long weekend 🙂