The final envelope.
Sugarplum fairies personified in wealth beyond measure. Ah, the Christmas catalog.Woo-hoo! An envelope involving nothing more than what we'd otherwise do!
And the children awoke far too early and got everyone else up to shower ourselves in gluttonous bounty.
By the time we got there, they'd already made their way through most of the stockings with the help of Aunt Natty and Lilly.
Bastian, ravenous for earthly possessions, tears open packages with teeth.
The boys rip and shred, loving everything.
Lilly gets what she knew she was getting...
And then, after almost all the presents were opened, like something out of A Christmas Story, Grandpa Jim says to Aleks, "what's that out in the mudroom?"Aleks rushes past me, flings open the door and starts dragging this giant wrapped box into the room. I, not knowing what was going on, begin to stop him from opening it to see who it was for. Sure enough, it said, "To Aleks. From Santa." I have no knowledge of this gift. I fear the worst.
Sure enough, upon unsheathing it, the boys come to find the ultimate reward for all those dozens of letters to Santa - a giant robotic dinosaur. It does not transform into a green car or shoot ice lasers from its eyes, nor is it forty (or ten) feet tall, but it is the exact model that the letters to Santa had finally settled on and which calls to Grandparents described endlessly in the frenzied build-up the Christmas Countdown became. D-Rex has arrived. Oh dear.
Exploring his controls: Attack, Guard, Seek, Prank, and Q&A. Attack roars and moves. Guard paces back and forth. Seek uses a sound sensor to follow you (and roar and look threatening at you!). Prank farts, burps, and yawns, usually followed by a snicker that's just lizardly wrong. With the Q & A function, you can ask D-Rex any yes or no question and he'll answer - sort of like a magic 8-ball, only with weird Velociraptor-like clicking and either a nod or shake of the head. His snout crinkles. His eyes squinch. He gives Jon the heebeejeebees and the boys call him their pet.
The Plan Toys pirate ship I'd bought for Bastian came with a broken anchor. Grandpa Jim excitedly announced that he had the perfect wood glue. We entrusted the ship to him.
When Jim opened the glue, however, it exploded all over, sticking the bottle quite effectively right to his hand.
When I returned to the kitchen from telling the boys what had happened, I found Jim sucking his fresh (burning hot!) coffee from one cup and depositing it in another as the first cup had become glued to the countertop, preventing him from drinking it.
While photographing this for posterity, I became glued to the counter as well.
While the children played with their new toys and Aunts Natty and Lilly napped and played on their computers, Jim eventually worked his way free of the bottle of glue. Success!
Everyone lazed about appropriately for the rest of the morning.
The boys, counter to my previous dismissals of Waldorfian elf hats and playsilks, donned just that as they played with their electronic monstrosity.
D-Rex joined them, occassionally letting out a bored roar, as they played pirates, vikings, and Lego Agents on the new pirate island play mat.
It is so the blissful image of that which I simultaneously mock and strive for: the privileged children in their Hanna Anderson Christmas pajamas and matching Swedish moccasins, the wooden playscape...spoiling the scene with their plastic crap. They look like all the other crunchy unschooled children. I eat it up, of course.
For Christmas dinner, we went to Jeri's house where the boys had even more gifts showered upon them. Aleks mostly enjoyed the holiday poppers and the bizarre tiny plastic China-made treasures embedded within. The adults drank lots of wine. Christmas exactly as it should be, told through the jaded eyes of the post-New Years' aftermath...