December 25th, 2004

Loon

Ho, Ho, Ho ...

Well, we have survived 90% of Xmas at this point. Yesterday was spent in last-minute preparations and getting dinner ready. As we'd not had our "family dish" of Shredded Brussel Sprouts at Thanksgiving, I opted to make them last night. The Wife had found a recipe for Chilean Sea Bass with Japanese bread crumbs, currants, and sweet onions, and I whipped up some couscous with figs that had been sauteed in sherry with spices. The Girls had simpler fare, roast chicken (yeah, from the store), with mashed potatoes. Frankly, it was a lot of work for just the two of us ... I don't mind cooking if I have an audience, but going through the whole hassle of acutally producing cuisine without anybody (aside those working on it) to appreciate it seems not worth the effort. It also bugged me that I got shifted over to what had been my Mom's place at the table. Not only was she not there to enjoy the meal, but I was in her spot!

The "Santa stuff" went O.K. ... Daughter #1, who just turned 9, is big into "testing" Santa. First of all she was keeping a "secret wish" that she was sure HE'd know, but nobody else did. I guess this was for a game system (we're still not sure which one it was, she had been playing one at Best Buy a few weeks back and it sort of slipped out that that was the secret wish). Fortunately, The Wife had gotten her a Game Boy Advanced which seemed to be "close enough for psychic communication" when Santa brought it.

She'd also written a note to Santa which she'd stuck on the tree, which was asking if she could please go with him on the sleigh ... she was all ready with her coat and shoes out in the living room and was planning on sleeping out there! Now, I was far behind on my wrapping (well, I'd wrapped everything, but had to get ribbons and tags other than post-it notes on everything) so I was up late after The Girls had been coerced into going to bed. At least twice I had to shoo #1 back to bed while I was getting everything out. I was careful to get the "from Santa" stuff out at the very last, and hopefully managed to have the whole deceit work (including consuming the milk & cookies and penning a reply to her note about going on the sleigh).

You would think that at 9, she'd have a clue about the whoe Santa thing, but she's clinging onto it. I remember when I got the word about the fictitious nature of Santa (from my kid brother, no less), I was quite crestfallen, feeling a strange mixture of loss, hurt, and having been lied to. Needless to say, I'd rather not be the wielder of these things in my daughter's psyche ... however, I was mentally preparing a speech around the whole "you know that I don't like lies" angle that would dove-tail into the "cultural figure co-opted by the Christians" thing and into the "marketing" stuff to put Santa into context. Fortunately, we didn't end up getting into it at 3 in the morning.

However, I was awoken at about 4:30am by Daughter #1, who had been up about hourly all night. At that point she was "up" and watching TV in the kitchen. I guess she figured that it was time to get Daddy up ... soon followed by everybody else ... so we started in on unwrapping stuff at about 5am! The Girls went though their stuff from us and "Santa" and then their mom and I went back to bed for a few hours, leaving them to play with their stuff. Somewhere around 9:30 or so we were again dragged out of bed, and we pulled out the stuff from their other relatives for Round #2 of paper shredding.

We're going out to dinner tonight (it is SO strange to have no relatives anymore), so we're basically just hanging out all day. I'm hoping that The Girls will take a nap at some point, since at least #1 has had almost no sleep, and it's always useful for #2 to get a few hours of sleep.


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