To say we had an eventful Christmas would be an understatement, but car crash aside (I'll write more about that later), we had a relatively quiet day for Simon's second Christmas.
We went down to visit my in-laws for the big day, up in the mountains near Asheville, NC. Diana's dad and fiance moved there almost two years ago from Ft. Myers, and we still had not been out to visit, in part I suppose because it's not a convenient trip from Seattle, but it was in our plans even if we didn't move.
Their house was... uh... a fixer-upper when they bought it. When we saw the pictures originally, I thought they were out of their minds because the interior was just hideous. Most surfaces were "Pepto Pink." But with a bit of renovation and excellent taste in decorating, it's now one of the most warm places I've ever seen. I can't stand the "country" style ordinarily, because it reminds me of a homophobic Cracker Barrel, but Helen Ann's choices are just beautiful. It's a fantastic house.
One of the things that Diana was really looking forward to was a chance for Simon to have a Christmas that put him at the center. On one hand, we hate that 75% of his grandparents are not local, but on the other hand, this year he got exclusive time with Diana's side. He doesn't quite get the spirit of gift exchange just yet, and familiar still trumps new and shiny to some degree, but he does seem to enjoy the festivities. Having a dog around that thinks he's a dog helps too.
Simon got a range of books and high quality toys that he definitely likes. We'll probably consign or donate some of his older toys that he doesn't play with. He got some cute clothes, too, and seemed particularly fond of his Thomas The Tank Engine outfit. (Side note: I hate that you can't seem to find Thomas on broadcast TV at all where we live.)
Christmas makes me very reflective with Simon. Not just because of our near-death experience with the crash, but because I'm also reminded how important it is that he has these experiences with family and traveling and what not. It also makes me realize that we've actually done a good job in that sense, because he's quite the seasoned traveler for his age. Even though he might not really remember any of it, we've set the precedent that he's a part of stuff whenever possible.
One thing is for certain, you see Christmas a bit more like a child when you have one, and that's a good thing.