Christmas morning is the best. The kids usually sleep in until 7:30 or 8:00 (that's really the best present ever in my mind) and then we get up and gather around the tree. Stockings first. Finley rips through it, Berlin lovingly takes her time with each little thing and has to look them thoroughly over. Sometimes she forgets there is more and we have to urge her on.
Then it was on to the big stuff. The kids got the presents from the tree and handed them out. Then the opening began. This is the first year where I think we hit it just right with each kid. In the past, I give in to my desire to spoil them and overbuy on presents. But after seeing how they have gotten overwhelmed with the excess, we kept it small this year. They got the lego set they really wanted: Berlin wanted her own Harry Potter Lego castle and Finley wanted the Lord of the Rings Helms Deep castle. Why do they always ask for the sets that are discontinued? Ryan gets props for searching them out. Thank heavens for eBay!
They each had one thing they didn't get - Berlin a real bunny, and Finley a real sword. These are the things they had talked the most about - at school, at their friends house, at the family parties. Fortunately, they handled not getting them really well. It probably helped that I was very honest from the get go, that 1. Santa had to clear all pets with parents first, and that we just weren't able to take on a new pet right now (we already have a zoo) and 2. swords are a weapon and we need to be a little older before we allow one in our home. Besides, I knew I would need options for their upcoming birthdays this spring...but I didn't tell them that.
So instead of the real rabbit, Berlin got this GIANT polar bear that is twice her size. I love watching her lug it around the house, and hurl it onto her bed. It brings a smile to my heart and she loves it so much. Finley got his first pocketknife. I thought this would be a good starting point in working up to a sword. He loved it. Now we just have to teach him to be comfortable using it, as he is a bit nervous about the little knife blade.
In the end I worried for nothing. It was the perfect this year. They have been playing non-stop with their gifts and we didn't have one meltdown or overly-stimulated child.
After presents we spent the day lounging around in our pj's and eating good food. It was the best.