Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A very nice Christmas

We really had a nice Christmas this year. This is the first time since having kids that we got to sleep in past 7:30AM on Christmas Day! I remember years when we were up, shivering, at 5:30AM, opening presents while it was still pitch-black outside. Then there would be 5 minutes of paper-ripping fury, and it was all over.

Over the years, I've had to learn to resign myself to the fact that certain ideas that I've always cherished just can't co-exist with life as it's lived in our house. Some traditions have had to go. When I was young, Christmas was a tantalizing, 2-week long tease, with presents arriving in the mail and being carefully placed under the tree for us to gaze longingly at. I'd artistically rearrange them over and over, and of course, we were allowed to slightly shake the presents, in order to guess what might be inside. On Christmas morning, the presents from Santa had magically appeared to add to the pile, so that there was a truly royal display to enjoy.

This year, I realized that we have to forego the sight of the mighty pile of presents, much as I enjoy it. The fact is, Thomas and James don't bother reading labels - they just grab the first present that comes to hand, and methodically rip open each package until they come to something they like. Dean and I were reduced to scrabbling among the torn paper, saying, "I think there was something for you under here - oh, here it is!" and pulling out a discarded book or cd. So this time, we took the presents for the boys and laid them out for them to see and open first thing. Then an hour or so later, once they'd calmed down and were happily playing with their gifts, Dean, Emma and I quietly got out OUR gifts and opened them without hindrance.

It turned out to be a big year for movies - Dean gave me the complete Dr. Katz series box set, and I gave him the collected Sidney Toler Charlie Chan movies (3 volumes). Last night we watched "Charlie Chan and the Black Camel", which has Bela Lugosi in it. Pretty good, though not all that intricate as far as mysteries go, and the last 3 minutes really come out of nowhere. But it was nice to see Lugosi outside the Dracula role.

When we went to bed, I discovered that Yin had found a pair of my underwear and gone to town chewing them up, while Dean had done nothing to stop her.

Me: You know, that was a perfectly good pair of underwear.
Dean: Yeah, I'm sorry. Maybe I could still rescue them?
Me: What, so I could WEAR them?
Dean: Yeah.
Me: But if I were in a car accident...
Dean: You mean at the hospital: "Oh my God! This must have been a TERRIBLE accident! Look at the state of her underwear!"
Me: "Why, there must have been SHRAPNEL flying, to leave her underwear like this!"
Dean: "And yet, her outer clothes were completely untouched!"
Me: "This is a mystery. We'll have to call in the CSIs."
Dean: "I couldn't do any chemical tests on the underwear; they would have completely disintegrated."
Me: "Let's involved INTERPOL.."
Dean: "The manufacturer's label was torn off, so we're publishing photographs of the underwear in all major newspapers, to see if someone can identify them. The victim is in hospital, and sent a message that she'll get better at once if we'll only return her underwear."

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