Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Wrap-Up

It is now the 27th of December and it is safe to say that we've officially made it through another Christmas at the Ripley house.

This was the first year in many that I have had to go to work on Christmas Eve. Although I was AT work, there wasn't a lot of working going on. I spent the morning drinking coffee and chatting with my co-workers. At lunch we all headed down to a nice restaurant and then went back to the office for half an hour before packing it in at 2:00.

Usually the kids get to open one gift on Christmas eve. They did this as soon as I got home at around 2:15. Jules picked the gifts that they were allowed to open, pajamas from Nana. The kids promptly put them on and wore them for the rest of the day. #2 and #3 even went out and played in the snow for a while without taking them off.

We had a nice family evening. We ate dinner and watched a movie. The kids were jazzed up pretty good. #1 announced that she intended to stay up until Jules and I went to bed. She figured that if she could catch us putting out the extra gifts and filling stockings she would have proof that we were Santa Claus. So all evening when the kids weren't paying any attention we started moving everything from our upstairs closet to the basement. #1 could listen all she wanted, she wasn't going to hear anything going on upstairs. It turns out that this wasn't even necessary since #1 was sound asleep by 10:00pm.

Before the kids went to bed they were told that they could not get up until at least 7:00am. Any earlier and they would be sent back to bed.

Jules and I finished our wrapping and got everything set up for the morning and were in bed by around 12:00am.

At 5:30am Jules got up and headed downstairs to get things ready for breakfast and basically have some relaxation time before the storm started up. At 5:50am I could hear the kids talking and giggling. I had to get up and shoo #1 back into her own room and restate that they were not getting up until 7:00am.

At 7:00 on the nose #1 came in to my room to tell me it was time to get up.

Jules and I decided that we would let the kids dig into their stockings first, then we would have breakfast and then we would start opening gifts. To the kids this was nothing short of torture. After much complaining we had the kids fed and they were finally allowed to open their gifts.

The standout moments:

  1. All three kids received a wallet from their Nana. #3 was the only one who bothered to open it up. She pulled out a 5 dollar bill and yelled "I GOT MONEY!" At this point the other two started scrambling to find their wallets to see if they'd gotten 5 dollars too.
  2. The kids each got a card from my Grandmother. These cards usually contain $10. Sometime before Christmas #3 ripped into the cards and Jules had to tape them back up. On Christmas morning, when #3 opened her card she was very excited to see not one but two ten dollar bills. 20 DOLLARS!! The other two really start to tear at their cards. #2 goes, "I only got $10" and #1 opened hers only to find an empty card. "MINES EMPTY!" Obviously a ten got put into the wrong card when Jules was taping them back up. Quickly we explained what must have happened and we took one of the tens from #3 and gave it to #1.
  3. #2 got a couple of really nice outfits for Christmas. When she unwrapped these gifts she opened just enough to see what was inside and then she said, "More Stupid Clothes", tossed them down and headed back to the tree to look for a REAL present.
  4. #1 started asking for a Nintendo DS in October. We told her straight up that she wasn't going to be getting a DS for Christmas. They were too expensive. She wouldn't be able to take care of it. One of her sisters would break it. She had pretty much accepted the fact that there would be no DS under the tree. What she didn't know was that her Nana DID buy her a DS. The look on her face when she opened that present was priceless. It almost looked like she was going to cry for a second. Not only was it a DS it was the Pets version.
I got a lot of good stuff myself. I got a pair of Airwalks. I haven't had a pair of name brand shoes in 8 years so it's nice to finally have some decent shoes. I got the new Colbert book, some movies and a video game and some other little models and stuff.

The big one for me was a new acoustic guitar. I've known that I was getting this guitar since the beginning of November and have been really looking forward to it. I haven't had a decent acoustic guitar to play since I lived at home. I've been dying to play it since I first found out about it.

Christmas morning was the time when I was finally going to get a chance to try it out. I couldn't try it out right away because I had to clean up the mess from the gift opening. Once I finished that I would sit down and try out my guitar.

When I was done cleaning up the mess I had to help open and set up all of the kids toys. After that I would try out my guitar.

Then I realized that I needed to tidy up the kitchen and load up the dishwasher because we were expecting my parents, my grandma, my sister and my niece at lunch time.

Suddenly my morning turned into a contest. I had to get everything ready quickly so that I would have enough time to try out my new guitar before the company arrived.

I got the kitchen cleaned up and put the soups on the stove for lunch. Then I took out a couple of bags of garbage. On the way in I realized that I needed to shovel the steps. So I ran out and did that. Finally at around 11:30am I had everything done and could sit down with my guitar.

Being that it was a new guitar with new strings it was no longer in tune so I went to find my electronic tuner. When I found it I realized that it had no batteries. I tracked down a couple of AAA's and again sat down with the guitar. I managed to get 4 strings tuned when the doorbell rang. SHIT!

I put down the guitar and answered the door. It was everybody.

We visited and had a nice lunch with everyone. While I was cleaning up after lunch my Dad tuned the remaining two strings and started to play. He played for a bit and then I finally sat down and started to play. It sounded really good. Not more that a minute later the phone rang and it was for me.

Someone out there really didn't want me playing that guitar. I talked to my friend for a while and as I was getting off the phone our company was starting to pack up and get ready to head over to my sisters house.

Finally they were out the door. No more cleaning for me! This place can stay a mess until tomorrow.

I sat down and played with my new toy for a solid half hour until Jules came in to tell me that the turkey was done. How could it be that late already! This meant that I had to put down the guitar and help get the rest of the dinner together.

We ate our traditional Christmas dinner and the kids decided to eat their pie and ice cream by ramming their faces into the plate and grunting like pigs. Just like Randy on A Christmas Story. Now there's a holiday memory for the ages.

The rest of the night was a blur. I cleaned up the kitchen again, tidied up the house again, stripped the meat off the turkey and made stock out of the carcass. The kids retired to their rooms at a decent hour and Jules had a nap on the couch. I believe I watched a movie but don't ask me what movie it was.

Fully spent from a long busy day we headed for bed at around 11:00.

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