Christmas 2012: WiiU, Touch, Spoons & Sing Offs!

With both sets of grandparents far away, our past Christmases have been on the road. In fact, Bode didn’t remember ever spending Christmas in Colorado so we’ve been long overdue to just stay and spend it together as a family. And it was so lovely and low-key.

Bode snugged up with us in bed at 6 a.m. I told him we had to wait until 6:30 a.m. to wake up Hadley but when he started counting down every minute, Jamie finally broke at 6:14 a.m.: “ALRIGHT, LET’S GO WAKE HER UP.”

My favorite Christmas memories as a kid are that first glimpse of the tree literally overflowing with presents. I hold off on putting most of the presents out until Christmas morning so our tree has the same shock value.

The past few years, Jamie and I have opted out of giving each other presents (besides our stockings) because we’d rather have our discretionary income go to our travels and date nights versus materialistic stuff we can buy ourselves. We had a few presents from grandparents and family and that left 95 percent of what was under the tree was for the kids.

It sure sucked for them. ((**please ignore the boxed formatting errors the rest of this post. No idea what’s going on and have no time to fix it)).Christmas morning is LAME without little kids’ exuberance and unbridled joy. Mine are the PERFECT age where the magic is still alive and they rejoiced over every present. And as you’ll note from the pictures, it was dark when we started and we finished in broad daylight. It even snowed a few inches to make the morning idyllic and a rock-star neighbor secretly shoveled everyone’s sidewalks.

Haddie asked for dresses and got five of them. She has fallen in love with knitting at school and that was her Santa request. As we neared the end of opening our gifts, she expressed disappointment he had forgotten. But then she grabbed The Present, pulled it out and said quizzically, “he gave me chopsticks?

Knitting needles, dear blonde girl. Knitting needles.

Bode asked Santa for an interactive globe and I’m sure he’ll have the countries, ecology and populations memorized by the end of the year.

Neither kids were expecting their main gifts. At an event earlier this month, I received a FREE iPod Touch (amazing, right?) but I hesitated to give it to Hadley. She has zero interest in technology and pop culture and I certainly don’t want to push her into growing up before she’s ready. But ultimately Jamie and I decided it was time and she was out-of-her gourd excited and kept squealing, “I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS FOR ME!”

Aunt Tammy gave her an iTunes card so we set her up with her first email address and iTunes account that we will closely monitor (talk about an out-of-body experience.) We downloaded her first-ever album: Taylor Swift’s Red, she grabbed her headphones and headed up to her room.

“We just lost our daughter,” Jamie joked.

Hopefully we won’t live to regret it.

As for Bode, his first love is his beloved Wii. I’ve been a “Brand Ambassador” for a few years (or rather, he has) and Nintendo will occasionally send us video games to check out. Of course, their big news is the release of the WiiU, a cutting-edge console with a GamePad controller that enables multiple viewing options, letting users view a movie or TV show streaming from Netflix on the TV while browsing for something to watch next on the GamePad. Their new online network Miiverse, features an activity feed that will eventually be accessed through web-enabled devices such as smartphones.

Pretty amazing technology.

Due to high demand, I didn’t think we’d receive one before Christmas but a few days prior, Nintendo delivered! We kept it a surprise and had the kids buy each other two of their favorite games: Super Mario Bros. U and Just Dance 4.  Jamie built up the suspense. As Bode FREAKED out re: Super Mario (his “favorite game ever”) Jamie deflated him. “But Bode, look at this. It is for the WiiU and we don’t have a WiiU!”

And then we presented him with his final gift.And spent some of the day playing it and karaoking to Sing Party.

We had a day full of food, fun, games, balloon animals with Uncle Chris, movies (Brave, Charlie Brown Christmas and A Christmas Story) and the capstone was when I introduced them to the Borowski family’s favorite tradition: Spoons. I don’t want to boast but I was the world champion with my lightning-fast reflexes but I found myself doing something I’ve never done in Spoons: I let the kids win. On purpose.  Oblivious of my efforts to keep the kids happy, I gave Jamie The Look across the table and to his credit, he ended up throwing the last game, thus cementing my kids’ love of Spoons for many years to come.

However, unlike my family’s Spoons marathons, there was no blood or broken tables.

Better luck next time.

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