This was a great Christmas, especially for Claire. My brother Tim and his wife Cindy came to Texas for the holidays along with my parents. Everyone came to Austin, and we hosted everyone for Christmas for the first time. Tim and Cindy really hit it off with Claire. Claire had countless games and jokes with them all through the two days they were here. She started things off by showing them her very favorite new show, a Pixar animated short film which Kit had recorded, called One Man Band. She tried to get them to laugh and scream at all the funny bits.
As Cindy noted, Claire is the perfect age for Christmas. At four years old, she loved every present she got. There was no complaining about not getting the “right thing” or not getting enough. And she just loved having all the fun people around to entertain.
At three months old, Little Molly was not as excited about Christmas. In fact, this year, she could not tell Christmas from the Fourth of July. She was a little worn out from all the excitement of entertaining her aunt and uncle and grandparents on Christmas Eve, and she slept quietly upstairs almost the entire Christmas morning, through all the gift exchange. She did not have a chance to appreciate her many presents, including one from Santa. Molly’s time to enjoy Christmas will come soon! You could say she was the big present to us this year.
- Not to be too materialistic, but this is always interesting later… Here is a partial list of presents Claire received this year:
- A Band in a Box (from Santa), featuring a tambourine, a snare drum, maracas, and a harmonica.
- A scuba diver Play Mobile set
- A Crayola Glow Station
- A variety of stuffed animals
- An alphabet puzzle
- A variety of books
- Countless fun and silly little toys and gadgets
- Molly received:
- Claire gave lip balm to everyone for presents. She (and me and Kit) made up special lip balm packets from a kid-friendly “make your own lip balm” kit.
- Christmas dinner was Texas style, feature BBQ beef brisket, black beans, cole slaw, and apple pie. (I was a little turkeyed-out from Thanksgiving)
- Tim and Cindy went running on
TownLadybird Lake and tracked down an award-winning public bathroom that Kit had read about.
- In the late afternoon after nap time, we loaded everyone up — all eight of us — in the Honda Pilot for a driving tour of the neighborhoods and houses we are considering to move into next summer. We also drove by said award-winning bathroom.
- Claire noted on several occasional that the day after Christmas is Boxing Day. And then Kwanzaa comes next.
- Claire, my dad, and I went to Zilker Park in the afternoon to let Claire work off some energy. The playground was full of happy little kids her age, some trying out brand new bikes. Claire came home and had a good hard nap. We repeated the same exercise on “Boxing Day”, and Claire once again had a good hard nap.
- Claire’s night ended watching A Charlie Brown Christmas on her little potable DVD player. Gradually five or six of us ended up watching over her shoulder. Claire played her tambourine to the show’s music and distributed her other instruments to the rest of us for additional percussion. We did not sound good, but it was fun.
- Claire, of course, did not really want to go to bed on Christmas night, especially since she had so many people and toys to play with. But she was pretty zonkered out and fell asleep quickly.
- Molly was wiped out by the whole experience as well, or maybe she was just being her usual sleepy self, and slept through much of Christmas and Boxing Day, including some three-hour haps.
- Kit and I were pretty wiped out too. We had prepared to host Christmas and did our shopping in about the day and a half before Christmas. Actually, Kit was wiped out from working 15-hour days, and I did most of the shopping and prep work. (I had been up in Washington DC for a surprise visit for Tim’s 40th birthday party. A big blizzard had hit DC, and I was stranded there an extra day, not leaving much time to prep when I got back.)