We have had such a wonderful Christmas. It has been a busy, happy, sociable fall, and we had a very nice time just being the four of us, going nowhere today.
It has been very cold and snowy, so much so that we headed out in a snowstorm to get our tree, knowing that after that the temps would be below zero and so even less pleasant for outdoor tree shopping:
We were quick to pick a tree, and because we shopped so late, our tree ended up lopsided and, more importantly, much much bigger than it looked when we got it in the stand and it took up half the living room:
We went to Mass at the early Christmas Eve service and volunteered to be greeters before Mass started. At first Victoria was shy, but I encouraged her to be first to say “Merry Christmas,” and soon she was yelling it through the vestibule at the first sight of any new churchgoers:
Violet seemed too excited to stand in one spot for 30 minutes, so I let her roam the church with the camera. It was busy with people coming in, meeting friends, rehearsing music, so I did not worry about her being disruptive.
Here is our parish’s nativity scene:
It is set up in a little enclave overseen by the Sacred Heart, to which I have cried on more than one occasion:
Mass was ordinary but very nice. I was happy to be there. Everything looked beautiful, the Gospel reading was not a long genealogy, but Luke 2, which is as straightforward as it gets. Even looking over the congregation and seeing the man who lost his wife and the mother of his teen sons this year, and noticing who wasn’t there, and hearing the names of two very ill mothers in the list of intercessions, the mood was overwhelmingly joyful. Thus, I think, this happy photo:
Now I can reveal the Big Gift: We got a Wii.
I am not a video game person, but we have had a great time today playing together. We have played Boom Blox (awesome!), Lego Star Wars (Violet’s favorite maybe), Cooking Mama, Sports, Play, and Dance Dance Revolution. Those who know him will hardly be surprised that Eggmaster is by far the best at Dance Dance Revolution. I’m going to say it’s the drumming.
We had set the Wii up in the basement Christmas Eve while the girls slept, so we just opened Wii games as our last gifts “to the family.” The girls were saying, “Who would give us Wii games? We don’t even have a Wii!” Somehow that didn’t give anything away, and Eggmaster said, “Well, we’ll just have to take them back to the store.”
“Oh no, we can get a Wii!” Violet suggested, and when I told her that we could not go spend money on a Wii after buying all these presents she was crushed. (Note: sensitive children are too easily fooled and made needlessly upset.)
“Well, we’d better take them downstairs to store them,” Eggmaster said. This was my favorite part of the event. The girls willingly followed him downstairs immediately to “store” the games, like that’s what you always do when you get a gift you can’t use. Violet was saying “Who gave us these anyway?” (Note: I had not tried to conceal that they were from us.)
I began to think she was just playing along, except that she nearly fell over when she saw the Wii itself. “I’m dreaming, I’m dreaming!” she was shouting, jumping up and down. Victoria planted her feet wide apart and started doing this crazy hip-shaking victory dance.
I can’t imagine we’ll ever have the chance to do something like that again, so I’m not too regretful that we may have wound them up beyond all reason.
And we have all played together all day, having the most relaxed Christmas day I can remember in a while. We will have to set some restrictions on the Wii after the 1st of the year, but until them I’m looking forward to lots of family time, cow racing, tennis, and Star Wars.