In the morning when Dad went to put the dog out, we found that someone had left us four big bags of gifts – one for each of the children. Whoever it was had spelled the kids’ names correctly, and, as we found later, each of the girls received their favorite toys. Dad and I brought them in and added them to the stack in front of the tree, and the kids went wild for a little while.
Traditionally, we had stockings and breakfast together. Dad and Phil got monster sized stockings from Santa, because the little ones that had been hung out were too small. We took Phil’s to him in the hospital when we went to see him later. The girls got excited again after breakfast and we started on opening gifts. Highlights… Glady got her e-z bake oven, Juliet got a spiderman build-a-bear, Pippa got lots of art stuff. Johann got a Tonka truck from his Papa that is bigger than he is. As soon as he got the paper off of it he climbed in and started to rock his body back and forth and make motor noises. So far as I know, he’s never seen anything like it before – how do they know?
Grampa gave them the biggest gift of the morning – a computer! He picked up and original iMac for twenty dollars, but they love it for what it is – not what it cost. Phil was on the speakerphone through the gift opening and he promised the girls that he would get it up and running as soon as he got home.
The Secret Santa bags turned out to have new coats for each of them, clothes, and a couple of toys for each. The living room was full of flying paper for a while, and when it cleared, the sectional couch was full from one end to another with stuff. I have a feeling this will be the wildest Christmas they will ever see… as they got older and the toys get more sophisticated there will be fewer of them, and calmer children, too. Glady already was pretty good about waiting her turn, unlike Pippa who got very excited about the whole thing. Juliet was very cute – al she wanted to do was help her brother out.
Once they were done opening presents I let them each take a toy and go into their room. Grampa and I sat in the living room and took a deep breath for a few minutes, then opened our gifts. Nana and BoPop had sent down their gifts to us, so we had a few. Dad got me a little vacuum sealer, and I had framed a photo of his tent I had taken in the woods this fall. Nana gave me a set of Sundae glasses that came out of a Midwestern pharmacy – a hundred years old, and heavy enough to endure. Dad got a cast iron teapot that must weigh twenty pounds.
After clean-up I made the rolls I had promised Nana and got ready to go up there. We left the house a little later than planned and went to the hospital to visit Phil, taking along his stocking and a couple of gifts. We weren’t able to stay long, but that is just as well, with the kids so excited about Christmas. From the hospital we went to Nana’s for more gifts and dinner.
It was a very nice day, all in all. I regretted Phil missing all of it. But we did get to see him.
On Tuesday after Phil saw the doctor he was told that it would be Friday before they let him out. Then that afternoon he was given an ultrasound from tummy to toes, which ruled out a deep vein thrombosis – very good news. Tuesday the girls and spent in cleaning and organizing their room, and Tuesday night I went up the Steele Hill to substitute for Phil at his regular gig there. So now it is Wednesday morning. I have much to do, but mostly I think I’ll play with the two little girls and Johann until Glady gets back from Toad Hall.
Happy New Year!