Well, Grant and Maria’s 2nd Christmas is in the books and I will declare it a great one. They behaved very well with no meltdowns and, for the most part, all the adults were well behaved too.

A few observations about Christmas this year:

• It’s okay to be late if it means the kids get their nap. Against the notion that nap schedules get thrown out the window during the holidays, we ensured that Grant and Maria got their normal naps. I think they appreciated it. I think those around us did, too.
• Simple is better. Grant and Maria don’t have a lot of toys. In fact, I think they got more toys in two days than in their entire toy collection. They savored each new toy making gift opening take a long time…but it was worth it! To keep things simple, some toys in their previous collection that are still in good shape (and maybe a new one or two) will be donated to a local family emergency shelter.
• They each got three packages from Santa. It seemed like a lot. We might do less next year.
• Santa traditions seem to vary widely. Our Santa wraps the gifts.
• After a 27-year estrangement, my Dad’s sister joined my family on Christmas Eve. It went remarkably well.
• The diaper bag becomes a black hole for gift cards and cash. I will be sure to empty the entire thing in the future before my dad digs through all their trash.
• My brother and I surprised my mom and dad with family Christmas pictures. We actually got one of all eight of us that is great. Mom and Dad’s reaction was priceless.
• There is something special about Christmas through a child’s eyes. By the grace of God we’ll get to experience it even more so next year.

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