We had a low-key Christmas at home this year, just us. John made his splediforous turkey on Christmas Eve, and I read the kids their favorite Christmas Eve books: Mr. Willoughby's Christmas Tree, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, and A Cajun Night Before Christmas (once you've lived in Louisiana, you take a little bit of Cajun with you!) John and I got into bed around midnight, thanks to all the present-wrapping I did earlier in the month, and the kids slept in on Christmas morning until- are you ready?- 7:00! On Christmas day, we opened gifts, spent some time with friends, napped, and played with all our new toys. We couldn't have asked for a nicer Christmas... well, maybe snow instead of rain.
John asked the kids what their favorite new toy was and Benjamin really had to think through all the choices. He finally decided, "My Magnetix... and my magnifying glass!" Philip shouted, "My Barrel of Monkeys!" All that money spent on Christmas gifts and their favorites are a plastic magnifying glass (with a bug-holder, I might add) that cost $1.99 at TJ Maxx, and a Barrel of Monkeys. Go figure.
The sweetest moment was at Christmas service. Our friend Keith led the church in communion and asked, "What is Christmas all about?" Nathanael, who was sitting next to me, whispered, "Mom, I know what Christmas is all about!"
"What?" I asked.
"Love" he replied.
And he is right.
Later in the week, things got a little rough. John Mark came down with the flu and is still laid out. I got this fabulous new computer for Christmas, which is a very good thing, but it required all sorts of computer switch-a-roo stuff in our house, which was not so good. John spent the next few days in a perpetual bad mood (computers can do that to you). On the bright side, he is mostly finished, and on the very bright side, we have given each of the kids the exact computer access they need. That is a wonderful gift all in itself! The little boys got the bottom-of-the-barrel computer which (barely) runs Windows 98. It runs John Mark's old Jumpstart CDs and that's about it. The little boys are now banned from all other computers, much to the relief of the older kids. Becca got the computer which had been the kids' computer in the living room. She can listen to CDs and do her schoolwork on it, but no internet access. For that, the kids have to use the main computer in the living room, which used to be the computer in my office. The big boys do not have any sort of a computer in their room, due to a series of internet infractions over the past few months. They can only use the computer in the living room. And me? Well... I have this fancy-dancy new set-up with Media Center and a big ol' 19" screen... and no kids allowed! So is that a great Christmas present or what?
We ended the week with a visit from Grandma and Grandpa from Indiana and we had Christmas Part II, which was just far enough away from Christmas Part I that the kids were thrilled all over again. It's been another fun weekend. Tonight, John and I will go out to eat, maybe catch a movie, and vegetate in front of the TV while we watch the Big Apple drop. Not exactly the pinnacle of excitement, but I get to spend New Year's with my favorite people in the whole wide world... and that's something to celebrate.