Just a few days into the Christmas break and already the stories are piling up.

We ended the calendar school year Friday with L. playing one of the lead roles in the first grade living nativity program. She was one of the cows that were annoyed by all the animals and people who were crowding into their stable in Bethlehem. She did a fine job, not missing any lines and getting laughs when she was supposed to.

From school we were off to the library, where the girls were allowed to pick out as many books as they could carry. L. and C. dumped their book bags in the back of the family truckster and filled them to the point of bursting. M. just walked out with a big stack in her arms. I told them between books, movies, holiday shows on the DVR, games and toys, and visiting cousins, they would have plenty to keep them occupied and no excuses to say “I’m bored.” I have yet to hear that phrase, but they’ve come close a few times.

Over the weekend we made two airport trips. Saturday we picked up my brother-in-law and his family, which meant we got to meet the newest cousin, baby L., who is seven months old. She was very smiley and happy to see everyone, which was nice since one piece of their luggage didn’t make it and we had to hang out longer than planned.

Then we went back Sunday night to pick up a sister-in-law and her kids who are making a quick pre-Christmas visit.

In between those trips we knocked out all the cookie baking and got them packaged up for delivery around the neighborhood.

Monday night was our annual family bowling night, which was fun as always.

Tonight the girls and cousins and some aunts are going to see the new Chipmunks movie. A couple of the adult relatives and I are going to see The Force Awakens next week.

The only negative came a week ago. As the kids were heading to bed on Monday, M. informed us that she no longer wanted anything on her Christmas list. She had decided the stuff she originally listed was too young for her. Which I had mentioned might be a problem a month ago, but she didn’t have time to hear me then. At first we were annoyed, as much at ourselves for always buying the gifts early as at her. We had in fact just wrapped and tagged everything earlier that day.

But after we put her to bed and S. and I talked about it, we realized M. was firmly in that awkward, pre-teen phase. Little kid toys still hold some appeal, but when you start talking to your friends at school about what you’re asking for, you realize maybe you should be interested in different things. Only you’re not sure what.

Since she told us she was scrapping her list, we’ve found a few blank lists lying around. But she’s never told us exactly what she wants. Which is a little sad. Every kid should have a lengthy list full of ridiculous requests. Her sisters both filled up a whole page with their lists.

We made a few executive decisions, placed some orders, and – knock on wood – the final replacement gift should be here later today. We think she’ll enjoy being surprised, but you kind of never know.

As always, this month is racing by. It’s hard to believe we’re just a couple days away from all the mysteries being revealed, our Christmas Day gluttony, and the Christmas music station going back to soft rock and old American Top 40s.