I observed something this morning that helps make a lot of things about our Christmas make more sense. Emmett apparently received a tooth for Christmas! He already has 12 teeth, but none of his canine teeth had come in. This morning I saw that the "fang" on his right had poked through. I couldn't help thinking of that song, "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth," except that I was thinking, "yeah, that's not really so fun in reality, is it?" A few of Emmett's teeth have come in without drama but the most recent ones have arrived with a fair bit of crankiness. He had a few periods of crankiness yesterday and I feel better knowing that there was an underlying physical reason behind it.
One of the periods of crankiness was when we all first got up. It was earlier than I would have liked (5:30ish), but I thought, "surely when I bring Emmett into the living room and he sees all of the presents, he'll cheer up!" but he didn't have a major reaction. It was clear that he didn't quite know what was in store for him. With no one begging us to open presents as soon as possible, we managed to wait until around 7:30 a.m. to get started. The first gift that he opened was a stocking stuffer glitter wand that cost under $2. It actually ended up being one of the biggest hits of the day! (He had played with one in a store for a long time, so I sought one out while Christmas shopping.)
I wanted to take an unrushed approach to gift opening, so we let him play with things as they got opened and took breaks to eat meals (homemade crepes for breakfast!), take nap-inducing drives, and so forth. At about 5:30 p.m., I was ready for him to be done with gift-opening, so I helped him try to start opening the very last two presents (a set of blocks and a book entitled Cool Daddy Rat). He just lost it while we were opening the books, crying and wailing and pulling my hair. (See above about being glad that we have teething as an explanation!). We finally got those presents opened at 7:30 p.m., meaning that we actually spent the entire day opening gifts. What's a little bit funny is that today he's spent probably 65% or more of his time playing with things he already had and a smaller portion of time playing with new things. I like to think that this means something, perhaps that when he makes new friends, he'll still pay attention to old friends, or something like that.
A few weeks before the holidays, Adam and I'd talked about how we wanted to have a nice non-commercial Christmas, but I think that we both got caught up in the whole "must buy this cute thing for the boy that we love so much!" aspect of the holidays. He didn't necessarily seem completely wowed by his day necessarily, but it definitely was special for him and relaxing for us. Not traveling this year was different and I missed the company of family but I also wanted to make the best of things by not getting too caught up in what wasn't there. And of course, sappy as it may sound, at the various times that Emmett was sitting in various emptied cardboard boxes, I found myself saying, "Yup, you and Emmett are mommy's favorite gifts, Mr. Monkey."