This Christmas was a learning experience. First, we were trying to figure out if we needed to give the kids (age 6 and 3) the same number of toys, spend the same amount, or just get them what we thought they would really enjoy (and stuff they asked Santa for). In the end we did the latter. No one noticed that one got more and had more spent on them. This may not have worked in reverse (with the 3 year old getting the most), but this year, everyone was happy.
I also learned that even if the dog hasn't touched the Ghiradelli chocolate tower, still wrapped in cellophane, in the last 3 days it's sat under the tree, if left for any duration, boredom will set in and you will find it demolished. You will also find a sick dog and a trail of "sickness" throughout the house...on Christmas Eve. I really thought the dog was going to need international travel insurance, either for her trip to heaven, or for wherever Hubster kicked her too when she finally showed herself. She ended up living through it. I stayed up until almost 2am to monitor her. I also learned that you can give a dog peroxide to induce vomiting (but I didn't do it). I gave her bread too absorb the caffeine and calm her.
I learned that when you arrive home with tired kids on Christmas Eve to find piles of doggie doody splattered around the house and insist the kids stay put on the couch until you can track it all down and scrub the areas, it becomes "The worst Christmas ever" to a 3 year old who watches too much Drake and Josh. I also found out that opening a zhu-zhu pet from her brother 5 minutes after the disaster was cleaned up, turns it back into the "Best Christmas ever."
I found out that you should also never underestimate the observations of children on Christmas day. My MIL had gotten gifts from our oldest to his Mom and Dad. He didn't know anything about the gifts, but she handed him bags and told him to give us each one. As we opened them and thanked our 6 year old, who was as shocked as we were, my darling 3 year old went across the room and picked up her coveted Playdoh burger factory and came over to give it to me. I told her it was for her. She said "Boog got you something so I want to too." She was serious. She wouldn't let me give it back. She insisted that we could play with it together, but it was mine. Why wouldn't grandma pick out something from both kids? The gifts were things people had donated for the kids at church to "shop for their parents". Our kids weren't there on this day so grandma picked some stuff out. I don't even think she realized how it would, or DID affect Puddin Pop. I swear that little girl of mine is the sweetest thing.
Oh. I also learned that offering to help get Christmas Eve Dinner ready is a BAD idea. My MIL has all sorts of yummy snack foods laid out and getting there early and walking past all the chips and dips and candies was just too much temptation for me. I was stuffed before dinner even started. Next year she's on her own.
What did you learn this Christmas?