Thursday, January 07, 2010

Christmas 2009

It seems like Christmas came and went in a blur. This year Dada was very much into the wrapping of presents: she wanted to wrap anything she could and have it under the tree, whether it was a gift for her or a gift for someone else or just an empty box. She was also very much about decorating the tree and spent several days helping Julie trim the tree.

It is difficult to capture the present opening activity, but I was able to get this picture of Dada admiring her gift from her grandfather Ba, a globe of the Earth (with its companion moon globe in the background).

Christmas 2009

Dada's Santa gift was an Easy Bake oven, which she seems to have been the gift trend of the year, as her friend Jane and her cousin Sophia also got one. She also got lots of books, with Roald Dahl being a strong theme.

We have worked pretty hard to try to avoid having Christmas be all about getting piles of toys and so far we seem to have succeeded. Dada seems to be as excited about giving presents and seeing other people get presents as she is about getting her own presents. It probably also helps that her birthday is just 4 days after Christmas, so there is a bit of an extended period of gift getting, helping to take the focus off the one big day.
Christmas 2009

On Christmas day we opened our gifts in the morning, having had to wait until almost 9:00 a.m. for Dada to wake up, played with our toys for a bit, and then hopped in the car for the trip to Houston to see Dada's grandmother Boo, where there were more gifts to open and Christmas dinner, this year a very modest affair with just immediate family.

We spent several days in Houston. Got to go ice skating outside at Discovery Park in downtown Houston, went to the zoo, and visited the mall just to get Dada some exercise, despite the crushing after-Christmas crowds. We also spent several evenings reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory out loud as it was too compelling to limit to bedtime.

Julie's brother gave us several board games: Life, Scrabble, and Monopoly. We ended up playing a rather epic game of Monopoly, with Boo ultimately crushing Julie, Dada, and I. Dada was fascinated by the money and became rather obsessive about arranging her cash neatly on her side of the board. I was amazed at how much of the game she grasped. We had to help her with making change and provided advice about developing her properties, but by the end of the game she seemed to understand what it was all about. Attention span was an issue, as you might imagine, so we tended to play in short sessions. But we are very pleased to be able to move from Candyland and Chutes and Ladders to games that involve actual strategy and skill.

All-in-all a nice, low-key holiday.


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