First, my obligatory annual statement about how fast Christmas flies by when you’re an adult. The time from final dismissal before Christmas break for the girls to about 9:30 last night, when the kids were all in bed, most of the clean-up was done, and we could just sit and relax seemed to pass in a blur. I think that’s because we had a fine Christmas.

As is tradition, we had an uncle and two aunts join us for Christmas morning. I’m pretty sure our girls have never opened gifts with just S. and me, and we’re glad that someone is always willing to come hang out with us during the craziest 20 minutes of the year.

The girls did well. M. got the Monopoly game she requested, some My Little Pony stuff, and a new outfit for her American Girl doll. She also got Wipeout 3 for the Wii in her stocking. An interesting combination of gifts that fits a nine-year-old who sits between little girldom and pre-teendom.

C. got a Crayola Melt ’n Mold machine, which will cause trouble at some point, we are certain. She also got a Nintendo DSi and an outfit for her doll plus a Wreck It Ralph game for the DSi in her stocking.

Finally, L., who cleaned up. She got the obligatory new American Doll outfit, but she also upgraded from her Bitty Baby to Saige, the official doll of the year for 2013. Then she got a Hot Wheels racetrack and a four-pack of cars. Despicable Me 2 was in her stocking. Finally, with C. getting the new DSi, L. got her old DS. Like I said, she cleaned up! And another girl with a funny combination of gifts, hers being dolls and race cars and technology.

They didn’t get everything on their lists, which they knew coming into the day. But I’m pretty sure they were happy, because there were never any comments of, “Well, what I really wanted was…”

Later in the day, the girls got bean bag chairs and fuzzy blankets from their Mimi. For the rest of the day they never put them away, dragging them to each room they were sitting/playing/watching TV in. They even wanted to sleep in them last night.

By the way, M. never showed any outward signs of doubting Santa. As a parent, especially a parent who is really into all the trappings of the holiday season, I must admit I’m conflicted about that. For the past 2-3 Christmases, I’ve approached December with the worry that it would be the last all-kid Christmas in our house, knowing M. would figure things out at some point. So, one one hand, I’m pleased that the kid magic of the holiday endured another year. I’m not looking forward to the sullen teen years when the girls are shitty with us because we got them the wrong things.

On the other hand, sometimes I think to myself, “She is nine now. I knew when I was nine. How can she not know?” Other parents will understand this mental conflict. She’s not the type of kid who would keep it to herself if she knew. At least I don’t think so. Maybe I should give her more credit.

Anyway, Christmas 2013 was one in which all three girls were still very much into Santa, the Elf on the Shelf, and all the other secular, kid-oriented mysteries of the season.

As has been the case in recent years, we hosted most of the family Christmas Day activities. We had the immediate family over for brunch after gifts. Then more extended family came over in the afternoon for dessert. I think we had 14 in the morning and 21 in the afternoon, which is light for us. Two wings of the immediate family were not here this year, accounting for eight people. We did have one of our Denver residents and our Boston representatives in town, though.

So, Christmas Day was terrific. S. is back at work today, but there are still relatives in town for a few more days. We have a family game night on the agenda for tonight. There will likely be some playdates and kid-trading with the neighbors between now and when school resumes on Jan. 6. And, hopefully, lots of good times where the girls are having fun with their new loot.

I hope all of you had great Christmases, too.