26 Dec

I hope all my friends had a wonderful Christmas and/or a quiet and relaxing day at home (take your pick).

After getting to bed around 2:30am, our day began at 7:30 when my alarm went off (oops – I had forgotten to deactivate it). Murmurings from the girls’ room suggested that stockings were being explored, and we dozed back off – until they ran into our room at 8:06.

“Santa’s been! Santa’s been!” Otto called in excitement – a far cry from the shyness and anxiety that we’ve seen in the past, even when she enjoyed her gifts.

Ten minutes or so later, we managed to drag ourselves out of bed. First stop was Otto’s bed, to see the vast array of stocking stuffers spread across the bed. “Biggie got more than me,” she commented – not in a sad way, just observing it as a fact. Two things contributed to this – first, some of Biggie’s items were bigger, and second – well, loyal readers will know that there was a problem 😦 We are still thinking about how best to deal with this.

Our family rule is one present only before everyone is dressed and breakfasted. Once the carols on my iPod had been turned back on, we set to it. For Otto, that was a set of coloured pencils and electric pencil sharpener from Smiggle – which is like crack for children. Biggie chose the parcel with a new swimsuit and pack of 6 pairs of ankle socks (it doesn’t sound very exciting, but she was delighted).

My children have rarely dressed so quickly.

Breakfast was pancakes with lemon and sugar, cinnamon sugar, strawberries and/or blueberries. Yum yum yum. I could have that again 🙂

After all that, it would have been close to 11 before we went back to gift-opening. We tried to be low-key this year, choosing things to keep the kids occupied during the holidays and things that they need, but of course there was extra stuff too. Not to mention the Santa stuff (craft supplies, hair trinkets and a couple more books each)

Gift summary:


  • Smiggle coloured pencils & electric sharpener
  • Swimsuit and rain anorak (Biggie got one from her grandparents for her birthday, and when it was on sale at 50% off it was hard to resist another good one from kathmandu)
  • Books – Princess Tales from around the World and (how could I resist?) The Pop-Up Book of Manners (it was really REALLY cheap)
  • A soft, cuddly toy Fairy and a 3 cm thick colouring book
  • A Charlie and Lola DVD
  • as well as a range of gifts from her very generous auntie, including Smiggle gel pens, a Dora the Explorer dressing gown and beach towel, stickers and a calendar.


  • Smiggle electric eraser with refills, chameleon pens and highlighters and a pack of writing paper
  • Swimsuit and pack of 6 pairs of socks
  • Books – Magic in the Weaving (Tamora Pierce) and Sparkly things to make and do
  • a “Mystic Mummy Tomb Dig and Play” set
  • The Wisdom of Nancy Drew – quiz book and fridge magnets
  • as well as gifts from Auntie – more Smiggle (including a diary), a bracelet and a hairband.

Family gifts:

  • Trötofant
  • Beppo der Bock
  • Uno
  • Chicken Cha Cha Cha


  • Books, a DVD (The Devil wears Prada) and a 1.2m tall inflatable Dalek


  • Books, a DVD (Life on Mars Season 1) and a t-shirt with this cartoon strip on it (there is more en route for Fraser)

Apologies for the lengthy list. I always enjoy reading what other people get for Christmas 🙂

We played a couple of games, then it was time to make brandy butter and salad and head for my brother’s by 3pm (we were late). My theory of brandy butter is that it is essentially a science experiment to see how much brandy you can suspend in 250g of unsalted butter. My food processor got an A+ this year.

Christmas dinner was outside, which was OK until about 5pm when it started to get pretty chilly. Apparently it will be back to high 30s by the end of the week but yesterday hovered around the 20 mark which was a little too cool. The barbecue was good, although I kind of missed having turkey – next year, I’ll make sure I roast one.

The girls loved spending the afternoon with their baby cousin, who seemed to enjoy spending time with them too. She certainly enjoyed pulling the wrapping off her gifts!

We came home around 7.30 and managed to get the girls into bed in reasonable time before watching a DVD and turning in ourselves.

Today, I skipped the sales (we’re broke, and I really don’t need anything anyway) which is a big change for me. Usually I am there by 7 or even earlier. I was sorry not to go, but if I went I would shop. We’ve played Agricola, joined friends on BSW for other games, cleared up some of the Christmas chaos, and generally relaxed. Not such a bad day at all.

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Posted by on December 26, 2007 in christmas, family


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