My goal to simplify was supported yesterday by stomach pains all day. As a result I did not have to trim the tree, wrap presents or do any last minute shopping. My mother in law wound up wrapping all of my presents and my son and family, under Mom's direction, helped trimmed the tree even though they did not particularly want to. Mom put up the ornaments and became upset that there was no star for the tree. She also wanted to put on tinsel but we ran out of time. We convinced her that 80% was good enough and it turned out that when my grandchildren saw the tree, it was more than good enough.
My granddaughter was celebrating her first Christmas and was fascinated by the lights and ornaments. In one of those unfortunate turn of events, we wound up having many more gifts for her than for my grandson. He noticed and became a bit testy. As we were still opening Lely's gifts, he said "Oh we should look but I think there are no more gifts for Pauly." In typical sociopathy of the child (see Onion article ), he rejected the lovely and too advanced skateboard he had received and the overtures from his Dad to try it out when they got back from Micronesia. He also refused at first to play with the fire truck he had coveted, having convinced himself that it was Legos and thus not what he had wanted. And he observed that he already had one of the Scooby Doo DVDs we got him, even though it is lost. Eventually he came around and started to play with various toys. Lely, who is crawling and pulling to stand, used many of the gifts as leverage to get on her feet.
At some point, my son got the "New Year's beers" he had been saving to share with his Dad--one each for the guys as we counted down to the hypothetical 2010 three weeks early and shouted "Happy New Year". So we went through all the holiday celebrations we would miss this year with my son and his family. It was great, notwithstanding the crabby kid who kept sneaking out to grab another Christmas cookie (He had 6 total). When my son was that age, he would negotiate how many cookies he would get. I would offer one and he would ask for 3. My grandson agrees to eat only one and then sneaks more and more. His excuse: "I just love cookies!"
So my guys are gone on their way to Hawaii for the first leg of their journey--18 hours total on planes and a layover in Oahu of about 22 hours. I hope they enjoy their island Christmas as much as we enjoyed having Christmas 1.0 with them.