This year we ended up hosting Christmas at our house for the first time. It all had to do with Kit’s call schedule at the hospital. At first Kit was not supposed to be on call for Christmas, then the schedule got botched and she was supposed to be on call. Since we cannot travel or even go very far from our house when Kit is on call, we planned to spend Christmas at home in Dallas. All the grandparents agreed to come up. Sometime after that, it was determined that Kit did not need to be on call after all.
But the plans were already made, and so we still had Christmas at our house. This was a good development anyways because Claire gets so excited (read: messed up) over the holidays with all the grandparents and presents and being out of school and off her routine. She gets so worked up that she has trouble sleeping or even just settling down. Staying at home also saved us a potential 16 hour round trip in the car with the kid and the dog. I am sure the first 4 to 6 hours would have been fine; it was the other 10 to 12 hours I was worried about.
- We had seven people and three dogs in the house, which was a little tight but not too bad.
- Christmas dinner was a festive affair coordinated by my mom and Kit’s mom, served early (ie, normal lunch time) in hopes of accommodating Claire’s nap schedule. Claire still had trouble with her Christmas nap, as expected.
- Claire charmed the socks off of everyone, singing songs, telling stories about trains and princes and the kids at school, or pretending to be a waiter taking our lunch order, or a Little Einstein.
- Claire is learning the Christmas music, but she does not have it down perfectly. She is very insistent that on the first night of Christmas, my true love gave to me a pirate in a pear tree.
- We were all determined to cut back on presents, but with me & Kit, the grandparents, an uncle and aunt, cousins, and oh yes — Santa! — it was a very good haul for Claire. For posterity, the list included a kid’s art easel set, a treasure chest full of princess stuff, a deluxe play-dough set, a giant teddy bear, something called “connectagons“, and a kid-sized shopping cart full of fake food goods to collect and distribute.
- Claire gave everyone hand-made items, in one case quite literally. She gave Kit and me a framed handprint with decorative paper cutouts around it.
- Many hours were spent, mostly by the ladies, working on a jigsaw puzzle. It was a tricky puzzle portraying a dog and cats made up in holiday cheer with no straight edges or corners at all. At the end of the holidays, part of a dog’s head could be recognized.
- We took a driving tour to see the fine holiday lights on Armstrong Parkway, and also swung by George W. Bush’s future house, just out of curiosity. The “W” house was nice but not nearly as fancy as the houses on Armstrong Parkway. Some people in the neighborhood had street signs that read “Welcome home, George and Laura!”
- Claire freaked out pretty bad when the last of the grandparents left, screaming that she wanted to go too. Kit’s theory is that Claire knew that was the end of the fun.
- Three days after Christmas, with everyone gone, Claire is still having trouble getting to sleep. Her refusal to sleep has driven most of us to madness at one point during the holidays as we tried to lure her to rest.
- After Christmas, we were getting together some things to donate. We wanted Claire to pick out an old toy to give away, but she resisted stubbornly. She was adamant that she would give away any brand new toys from Christmas, but no old toys!
Finally, here is a video montage showing Claire getting more and more excited as Christmas day goes on, and into the next day.