Emmett's fan club (my parents and my sister's family) have now come to NC and safely returned to their home states, and nobody ran off with the baby. I was aware that friends of both parties had suggested stealing the baby as an antidote to missing Emmett in the future. Add that to my growing list of Things Mom Does Not Find Funny. (New moms don't just lose IQ points--we also have funny bone impairments, apparently).
It was so nice to have everyone come here. Last Christmas we warned people that we'd want to do Christmas in NC this year rather than flying to my sister's house in Vermont. This was a great year to avoid flying, as weather conditions caused a big round of flight delays and cancellations around the time we usually would have been flying home to NC. Our visitors all drove down here and I know how long those drives are (I've done them several times, including with a 40 pound dog sitting on/near my bladder most of the trip). I kept half-expecting something to go wrong and while traffic was apparently pretty sucky, everyone made it here.
I am sort of glad that Emmett is a little young to cognitively process the Santa thing because I had somewhat of a Santa Fail. When my parents arrived, they understandably wanted to unload their truckload (literally) of gifts right away. As someone trying to avoid the Small House Inferiority Complex, I was all "sure it'll all fit under the tree, I'll show you right now!" and we unpacked everything right into the space around the Pez tree.
It was only in the wee hours of the morning on Christmas that I realized/remembered that a big part of the magic of Christmas is the overnight reveal that occurs when you go from having a few presents at bedtime to a larger amount in the morning. I'd given thought to other Christmas parenting tricks (use different wrapping paper for Santa gifts; disguise your writing; change your present-wrapping style if needed) but hadn't thought the whole thing through.
Despite two visits to retail Santas for cute photo opportunities, Adam and I are somewhat undecided on how much we want to perpetuate the Santa thing in the future. The "lying to the kid" thing doesn't sit well with a certain guy who spent forever studying Philosophy in graduate school. I can say this, though: I did sort of miss writing a note for Santa and leaving out cookies and carrots. With my current lifestyle of waking up numerous times per night to breastfeed, it seemed a bit preposterous to bother with this. But it's fun, as is a lot of the Santa thing. I do sort of like the idea of our family having an additional benevolent elder person that we suck up to once a year and ignore the rest the year. Kids often want to believe the Santa thing even if us grown ups are cynical about it. We'll see how it all plays out once it matters more.
It was so fun to watch Emmett interact with his presents. The first gift we held up to him had curly ribbon on it and he had a blast pulling on it. He fell asleep for a huge chunk of the present-unwrapping (my comment: "He doesn't sleep through the night, but he sleeps through Christmas?") so we saved a lot of his gifts for late afternoon. He was especially taken with an otter stuffed animal from his grandma and grandpa.
Around when we were getting ready for bed on Christmas, it started snowing. We woke up to several inches of snow covering the ground and trees. This was our 4th snow this year and the first time we had enough snow to make a snowman. Our snowman was really a snowbaby, complete with its own pacifier. I'm not sure if we would have been able to manage a snowman if not for the extra babyholding skills of grandma and grandpa.
The Northern relatives got to see firsthand just how little snow it takes to completely interrupt life in NC. Even with the roads getting cleared pretty quickly for Around Here, a lot of places ended up being closed on Boxing Day. Our break from work has had a little bit of everything, weather-wise...one week later and we're walking around without coats on. I sort of wish that the
weather had been warmer, but there is something compelling about snow on Christmas.
All in all, it was an excellent first Christmas!