A fine Christmas for the B’s.

It appears that the Elf on the Shelf did not take any news of naughtiness back to Santa,* for the girls were well rewarded on Christmas morning. M. received a Hannah Montana guitar, a kid-proof digital camera, and a box full of Littlest Pet Shop animals. C. also got a digital camera, some electric drums, and a talking cash register. L. cleaned up, as well, getting a crawling, talking doll; a toy vacuum cleaner; and broom. (She loves to take our real brooms out and “clean” the house.)

All of them were thrilled. M. did her normal cheesy excited thing, saying the guitar was exactly what she wished for. C. became a Santa fan for life when she got her camera. For the last month, if you asked her what she wanted for Christmas, all she would say was a toy camera. Her eyes were as big as saucers when she opened that box. Oddly, M. has spent more time with her camera, already running down the batteries by Saturday night, while C. has been more interested in playing with her sisters’ toys.

(For you Modern Family viewers, when Phil threatened to cancel Christmas because of the burn mark on the sofa, S. gave me a look. Apparently I’m prone to, when agitated, making grandiose threats towards the girls. For the record, I would never threaten to cancel Christmas.)

Santa was good to me, too. I received an electric smoker, so I can finally start learning to smoke fine meats and stop complaining about the lack of decent barbecue in Indianapolis. I figure I need a signature sauce, too. One of my missions for 2010 was to knock out one or two classic TV shows that I’ve never watched. Thus, Santa dropped the complete <em>The Wire</em> boxed set on me. I’m very excited about that.

Beyond presents, most of the rest of the holiday went well. My sister-in-law who has spent the last three years in AustraL. has moved back and is spending some time with us before she picks a final destination. The girls have had great fun hanging out with Aunt Margie.

We attended a late afternoon Christmas Eve Mass that was so well attended that I had to drop everyone off and park well away from the church. As I walked back across the parking lot, a large deer ran across the church’s football field. That’s some kind of omen, right? L. decided to entertain herself during Mass by clawing a chunk out of my cheek. That was fun.

Following church, the family returned to our home for our traditional dinner. Ham, turkey, lots of sides, wine, beer. Good food and good company.

We sent the girls to bed at their normal times, and M. and C. were as quiet as could be as soon as I closed the door. Neither made a peep all night. Unfortunately, after sleeping for 10 hours the night before, L. was up most of the night Thursday. I think I squeezed in four hours of sleep around her antics, which made me nice and grumpy Christmas morning.

After presents at our house, we went to the in-law’s for our traditional Christmas brunch, followed by some more presents. Thankfully, L. and I were able to find a bed and take a nap together.

We had two other pleasant holiday gifts. First, we’ve been waiting for the mirror to be installed in our master bathroom for roughly two months. It’s a long story not worth going into here. Anyway, they finally did a temporary installation of the mirror on Wednesday. I shaved in our master bathroom for the first time since August on Christmas Eve!

Also, we’ve eagerly been awaiting word from Denver, where another sister-in-law was due with her first baby any moment. Her water broke Friday night and Saturday morning, the girls got another cousin: a healthy boy. So that was fun, and they are very excited, although confused about the fact they’re not going to see him with S. and her sisters this week, or that he won’t be hopping a flight to Indy immediately.

So that was the B. Christmas. The holiday season seemed to fly by this year. Not the “I have tons to do and it’s making time go by quickly” type of flying time. More the I realized last Monday that Christmas was four days away and couldn’t figure out where the month had gone kind. Usually I’m big into extended Christmas through the following week into New Year’s Eve. I keep listening to music, watching movies, etc. I still need to watch Elf all the way through, but I’ve moved all the Christmas music to my hard drive’s version of the attic. We’ll keep the tree up for another week but this year Christmas seemed to have a clear ending point on Christmas night. Perhaps not coincidentally, our yard Santa stopped lighting up Christmas night. I did some cursory investigation Saturday, but am worried all our rain on Christmas day did something to it.

I hope all of you had happy, safe, healthy Christmas-times.