Things I learned at Christmas…

  1. I still hate wrapping gifts. Betsy was sick Christmas Eve, so the job of wrapping the “special” gifts fell on me. In the past, I was the guy who would pay whatever it took to get things gift-wrapped. No such luck this time around. By the time I was finished, the gifts look like they had been wrapped by someone wearing boxing gloves, sent through the FedEx distribution system twice, and then wrapped again by a guy with the DTs. If Amazon didn’t offer gift wrapping, I would never give another gift in my life.
  2. I feel empathy for my parents, especially after putting together the “big” gift. Sophie got an easel from Santa, and it had to be put together (rather than wrapped). This is the only time when I would have rather wrapped. I’m downstairs at 9:00 at night, with a Guiness in one hand, trying to figure out how to attach leg A to joint B using Nut K and bolt M. And people wonder why I don’t work on my own house.
  3. Next year, Santa will need beer and cookies. Of course, not just any beer. It looks like Santa will need another Guiness to wash down his cookies. Of course, he’ll need to finish assembling (see #2) before receiving his reward.
  4. Betsy’s idea of “Two gifts from Santa” was brilliant. Sophie was happy to open presents – it didn’t matter how many or from whom. She spent more time unwrapping our gifts than her own, and didn’t even bother looking at the gifts before looking to unwrap the next one. One other thing that Santa did was take some old toys away (and put them in the storeroom). We can still see the floor of the playroom.
  5. Don’t spend too much time worrying about the gifts. Sophie’s favorite was a “bouncy ball” – a rubbery ball that looked like a blowfish. The easel and piano mat were a distant second and third.
  6. Trust no vendor. I bought a gift for Betsy from Ebuyer, who (to reduce fraud) would not ship to my work address. So instead, they shipped to my house, and told UPS to just leave it on the front steps (and not require a signature). The end result? Some kid in the housing projects has a nice new Palm, I have to send paperwork to Ebuyer and UPS because I never received the shipment, and Betsy has to keep using her old Palm from 1999. At least I still had the gift from Victoria’s Secret.
  7. We’re now really settled down. This year was the year when more than half the cards we received were the “photo cards” with the pictures of the kids on them. No more goofy “Dogs Singing Jingle Bells”, or Santa with a surfboard.
  8. Family is all that matters. We were very lucky that Mimi and Pappa were able to visit for Christmas, and we also had the chance to talk with Grandma as well.

Merry Christmas!

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