Once breakfast was eaten, Terry went off to pick up his kids from their mother’s house. When he got back, we commenced opening presents. Last year, the kids just wanted to unwrap all the gifts as quickly as possible, so they would pick a box, run it to the person it belonged to, and tear into the paper like a cat at a scratching post. This year they were just as eager to get their claws into the presents – but only if it was for them. They would open a gift, admire it for about thirty seconds, and then toss it aside and demand another present. If it was an adult’s turn to receive a present, the children would commence whining until it was their turn again. No matter how full their basket of toy cars and trucks grew, they were never satisfied. None of the other adults seemed bothered by their behavior, so I just hope that it’s a phase they’re going through.
I shouldn’t have started the post off with such negativity, because the Christmas presents were really quite lovely. Jared and Erin bought a limited-edition Starbucks tumbler. For the month of January, Starbucks will fill the cup with free coffee or tea every day. Since my bookstore is practically next door to a Starbucks, I spend a lot of money there – this deal will help my wallet recover from the holidays by stopping my Starbucks spending. I really appreciate it! My other brother-in-law gave me a coffee bean grinder, which is GREAT. Once my free Starbucks runs out, I can brew fresh coffee at home and fill up the tumbler. The gifts work so well together, and as far as I know they didn’t coordinate on it at all.
This was meant to be the year when everyone scaled down on their Christmas spending. The Buckley children generally managed to cut back from previous years. His parents were not as successful. Seanie’s mom had surgery earlier this month and as a result, she was a little loopy and drugged up when she did her Christmas shopping. She said that she would order something and then forget she bought the gift, so she’d order something else off the Christmas list. As a result, I got a giant pile of Christmas presents from her. Three literary-themed t-shirts: Curious George, Harold & the Purple Crayon, and the Very Hungry Caterpillar. Calvin, a young adult novel about a schizophrenic teenager who believes he IS Calvin from the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes. A history book about the San Francisco Exposition of 1915.
Seanie got some great things, too. His mom gave him a tripod and a green screen for his Youtube video project. He also got some really neat books and Dukes of Hazzard DVDs from his brothers. I should have paid more attention to what he and the others received, but the kids were very distracting.
Our gifts were generally well-received. We got Seanie’s parents tickets to see Star Wars together. (We had also ordered Seanie’s mom a Baubax travel jacket because she’s constantly flying back and forth to Baltimore for treatment at John Hopkins, but who knows when that will ship.) Jared’s really gotten into biking this year, so we got him some safety gear and proper biking clothes. Erin has been home during the day ever since she left her last job, so we got her a slow cooker and a recipe book to get her started using it. I picked out some picture books for the twins which they will hopefully enjoy. I made the mistake of addressing the packages to both twins, and the thought of having to share the gift annoyed the kids so much they didn’t even want to open them. I guess I should have just randomly assigned the books to one boy or the other, but I thought they might fight if one book seemed “better” than another. Their dad liked the hatchet and the book we chose for him, at least.
For the grand finale to the presents, we took the twins outside and they were given electric Power Wheel tractors to drive around the ranch. They were SUPER excited so very soon one end of the driveway was blocked and the kids were rolling around in circles, using the tractors to haul dirt and rocks. It was nice to see them so excited and happy to play.
Now that I work in Willow Glen, I know that it’s a tradition for a lot of Willow Glen families to order raviolis from La Villa, the local delicatessen. In the days leading up to Christmas, there was a long line in front of La Villa every day! I’m not surprised; the raviolis are delicious. It just means the Buckley ritual of eating their raviolis for Christmas dinner isn’t as unique as I thought it was.
By early evening I was just wiped out. I’m not sure why. All we did was sit around and eat, but I was tired as if I’d been on my feet at the store all day. I guess we had a rather late Christmas Eve so that may have contributed. We didn’t get to have dessert because we left earlier than usual, but it was such a fully and busy day that I don’t think we really missed anything.