Seanie and I had spent the night so that we wouldn't have to worry about rushing up early Sunday morning. We helped Seanie's mom prepare breakfast for everyone – waffle batter, bacon, sausages, and an old family recipe called sconcha, which is a breakfast food that consists of a pancake batter-like substance cooked in a pot for several hours, with heaping cups of sugar added every four minutes. It's a heart attack waiting to happen, but the Buckley boys all love it so Seanie's mother makes it for them. 8:00, 8:30, and 9:00 all rolled around without anyone else arriving, despite Terry's insistence that his family would be there at 7:30 am. He and Rhi and the boys finally came in right around 9:30, and settled into getting the nearly-three-year-old twins fed.
After breakfast, we were hovering around the table waiting for Seanie's oldest brother, Jared, to arrive. Rhi and Terry were getting a bit antsy because they had to leave by a certain time, but Seanie and his parents both wanted to wait for the whole family before tackling the mountain of presents that had built up around the Christmas tree. Jared and his fiancee Erin eventually arrived, and sat down to eat breakfast.
Arlo, feeling that he had been quite patient up until this point, began yelling at people to go into the living room and “Sit DOWN!” so that we could start opening presents. There is nothing more adorable than a passionate and excited three year old trying to herd adults, and I could not stop laughing at his earnest efforts. Once everyone had finally sat down in the living room, Seanie's parents gave everyone a sock filled with small presents, like Chinese puzzles and Hallmark ornaments.
A brief drama erupted concerning the twins' Christmas ornaments – apparently, Sean's mom had accidentally picked up the same ornaments that Rhi had bought for her boys, which upset Rhi's plans for a family tradition involving Santa giving the children a special ornament each year, and she had to leave for a few minutes to sort through the disappointment. Of course, I didn't know what was going on at the time. Arlo and his brother kept asking why we couldn't keep opening presents, and Erin and I had to distract them by reading some of the books his grandmother had given him. Eventually, Rhi came back, and Christmas continued.
While both boys enjoyed opening presents, Arlo was really into it. His father would give him a present to deliver, and he would run across the room and drop it in the recipient's lap. Then, he would ask, “Can I open it?” and eagerly rip into the present – often before the other person had a chance to respond. He would tear the paper like a cat at a scratching post, which swift swiping motions that sometimes laughably ineffective. Arlo was almost never interested in the actual present, and he certainly didn't want it for himself – but he found the process of opening simply captivating. Thus, if the present came in a box he would ask if we could open the box. If it was wrapped in plastic, he wanted to tear the plastic off. Once every layer of packaging had been removed, he'd lose interest, and run back to deliver the next gift. His enthusiasm ensured that the presents were processed at a rapid fire pace.
As a result, I'm still not sure where some of my gifts came from, but I got some really awesome things this year! Seanie's mom spent far too much money, as usual, and stocked my kitchen with a ton of new appliances: a microwave (to replace our dying one), an air popcorn popper, and a Magic Bullet blender set. She also got Seanie the new Zelda game, a digital collection of Spider-Man comics, and a bicycle, which was AWESOME. That would have been enough of a Christmas to satisfy anyone!
We got lots of other cool things from Seanie's brothers and their families. Jared got me a hand mixer, adding to my pile of kitchen appliances. Terry got his brother the second season of Game of Thrones on Blu-ray and some brownie pans and popcorn accessories for me. Rhi had found a Disney villain hoodie in my size at a thrift store that looked nearly new, so she'd wrapped that up for me. It made me laugh, because it was one that I'd seen several times at Disneyland last year, but at $60.00 I would never have bought it. It's a little loud for me, I think, but Seanie says it looks good so I'll probably wear it all over the place.
Our presents went over pretty well. Sean's mom was really excited when she saw the shoes we'd bought her, and immediately wanted to know how I'd know what size and color to get her. She'd completely forgotten that she'd given us a Christmas wishlist at the end of November, and I'd just picked one of the items off of it. We had gotten Seanie's father the Blu-ray editions of Man of Steel and Star Trek: Into Darkness, and as a joke we wrapped his father's box set of Star Trek movies up, too, because Seanie had borrowed them several months ago and never gotten around to returning them. His dad had completely forgotten he owned those movies, and he was just as excited as if he was getting them for Christmas all over again.
The one bomb was the twins' books. Arlo and Liam were so excited by the trucks and toys that they'd already received that when they opened our presents and realized it was more books, they didn't even look through them. Oh well. Maybe the kids will be more interested when we show up at their house and actually read the books to them!
In the early afternoon, Rhi packed the twins up and she and Terry drove home to put them to down for their naps. Seanie's dad popped Man of Steel into the TV and the guys watched that while Erin and I assembled his mother's new wooden filing cabinet. Mom thought it was both awesome and a bit shameful that the girls were the ones putting furniture together, but it didn't take us too long so we were able to watch most of the movie.
Christmas dinner was pretty simple. Terry brought the twins back up to eat raviolis from La Villa, a delicatessen in Willow Glen. The “ravs” have become a Buckley holiday tradition. As Seanie's mom cheerfully explained, “I filled the boys up with raviolis on Halloween and Christmas so they wouldn't stuff themselves with sweets!” She is a wise woman.
We didn't get home 'til fairly late – maybe 9:30 or 10:00? But we weren't quite ready to go to sleep, so we joined Jared and Erin on a walk through our neighborhood, looking at the Christmas light displays since the residents of Willow Glen tend to go all-out every year. It was the perfect ending to a very festive day.