We've had a good Christmas here. A little more subdued than usual due to the weather, but it was nice not to have to rush from one relative's house to another.
After several really tight Christmases we enjoyed a rather large one last year so I went into this one warning the boys not to expect as much this time around. On Sunday morning I sat and watched them open their gifts and was pleased to see their enthusiastic reactions to their two or three gifts each. If anything, they seem to be enjoying them more than the rather notable pile they received last year.
But what pleased me the most was the gifts they gave one another. This year I also insisted that they make or buy something for each other. Sam has always been good about this, but the others are sporadic at best. As everyone is either a teenager or about to be one, I felt it was time that they all get in the habit of doing this. Of course, being my kids, their response to this was inventive to say the least. Sam made Daniel a model Solar system to hang from the ceiling, a tiny puppet theater for Joseph, and model guitar for Jeremiah. Daniel passed out homemade pizza coupons (two have already taken him up on this). Joseph was the most ambitious (though I don't think he realized it initially)--he made sock (zombie?) dolls for all of his brothers. The kid was up until midnight on Christmas eve finishing them. Jeremiah went the route of bought presents, which were well thought out.
The boys and their brothers all got together and gave me a terrific little MP3 player (a Sony "walkman"). Though I was still using the little blue Zen Stone I bought with the proceeds from the Andromeda Spaceways short story sale a few years ago, I've been dreaming of one I could set up play lists on, that I could use to listen to audio books with, or even the radio while I garden. This fits the bill perfectly.
Tomorrow we are headed to Silver Dollar City (something of a craft village/amusement park) where we will shiver in the snow while the kids ride roller coasters, and listen to blue grass music, and crowd into small shops to watch craftsmen carve, blow glass, make jewelry, make pottery, and the like. And maybe we'll sample some funnel cake and drink spiced hot apple cider. A fine ending to our Christmas break.