I was SO excited to give Art and Lewis some really fun toys! I was really pumped to decorate the tree and pull out the red cardstock stars Ben and I made our first Christmas together and the little Christmas VIllage light-up house my cello teacher, Sue, gave me that says, "Parker's Pet House". And I was really tickled to make shortbread for my loved ones and freezer cookies and sing along to Christmas songs in the car and at stores. It's an American Christmas, Charlie Brown! And I guess I just really like it that way!
Ben found a new chainsaw for Art to replace the one he loved but hasn't seen in over a year. It broke a long time ago and Josh tried to fix it but couldn't. He has never forgotten and every couple months or so has either wondered about that old chainsaw or just reminisced about it. "Remember the chainsaw, Mama, that moved by itself? I wish I had that chainsaw." Well, Ben got him a new one. Not the exact one, but still has a moving "blade" and makes a good chainsaw sound. It did not leave his side for the first three or four hours of Christmas morning. He took his nap with it. He set it on the chair next to his bed at night and the little "zhhh, zhhh" sound was the first thing we heard from his room this morning.
Lewis got a ball toy that pops a ball up onto a little ramp and then, by turning a little knob, drops the ball to the bottom again. He's working on mastering that between playing with the pretend tool set (hammer, phillips screwdriver, etc) and the REMOTE CONTROL CAR Ben got (!). That's been a hit as well. Ben also got the boys little foam disc guns (or "shoots" as Art calls them) and Matchbox toy planes. I had picked up some of those magnetic rocks for stocking stuffers and my mom gave Lewis a nice model Jeep and Art a Mustang with doors and hoods that open!
I gave Ben the book What Happens on Wednesdays which he liked a LOT and Ben gave me some organic chocolate covered peanut butter snowmen (!) and a tiny exact replica of one of the Fischer Price push toys the kids have. I love things that are the wrong size. From afar Art and Lewis received P.J.'s and hoodie sweatshirts (Art LOVES wearing a hoodie with a "zip") and a birding book, which prompted Lewis to say, "Ow-wool!" as soon as he saw the barn owl on the cover. Thank you so much, Tim, Cynthia, Jenny and Sujit!
Uncle Josh made the boys an indoor scooter, which I had commissioned, but he designed it with an adjustable seat and enough room to fit both boys! Tapping into her Jewish heritage, Auntie Em gave the boys both Hannukah Gelt (coin-shaped chocolates), which Art devoured immediately, and clementines, among other lovely trinkets.
Oh, I don't know. It is pretty fun to just focus on the presents. As it was rolling up I was getting more excited about PRESENTS and less interested in spiritual meaning.
Then we had the big fam over here for dinner. What a blast!!! 17 bodies around the table, and we were even missing more Parkers who were with cousin Laurie and her just-born baby in Indiana. Roast meat, green bean casserole, brussel sprouts, collard greens, mashed potates, yorkshire pudding and joke presents!! (Cousin Hannah got a Snuggie that came with a weird, auto-opening booklight and someone else got a poop-shaped pen. GROSS!) I made two toasts at dinner, being the sap that I am. One to honor the loved ones who were no longer with us, like my Dad and dear Nora. Then I couldn't help myself. I had to jump up and toast how awesome it was that I could have so much joy, love and laughter just by inviting my family over for dinner!
Merry Christmas everyone!