In the annals of happy Christmases -- and we've had many -- this has to be right up there.
Not that there was anything extraordinary about it. The kids got gifts they adored -- Kapla Blocks and a betta fish aquarium for Cady Gray, an electronics project kit and Wii games for Archer -- and plenty more besides. I participated in America's love affair with the iPad via the gift of a WiFi version from Noel. Grandma Libby and Grandpa Alex arrived with ham and crafts and sudoku and endless patience for the kids.
What was so wonderful about it was its utter normalcy. Because we didn't travel, I was able to participate with the rest of the bell choir in the Christmas Eve service. We arose in a leisurely fashion and actually had to wait until the kids finished helping Grandpa Alex with his computer solitaire game before we could herd them into the front room to see what Santa brought. Everyone was enthusiastic about the gifts they received, including the kids. When I asked Cady Gray what the best thing about Christmas was, she said, "Seeing other people open the gifts I got them."
We whiled away the afternoon just as Christmas Day should be spent: building projects with our new blocks and circuits, setting up our new computer equipment, having a feast, taking naps, playing video games. The fridge was full of food, the candy jar was full of what had lately been in the stockings. There was nowhere to be, no one to please but ourselves.
About 4 pm, when a Phase 10 game was getting underway on the dining room table, I had a moment of disassociation. Surely, I thought, there was something I should be doing to advance a project, some work that needed to be underway. And then I remembered. It's Christmas. I can take the day off. No guilt attaches to doing or not doing anything, except having fun.