Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I'll just knock out a wall or two

Can you hear that? Why, it sounds like sighing. It is! It's the sound of parents everywhere expressing their relief that this holiday season is over.

Thank you, Jaysus.

No more freaking shopping, wrapping, hiding, ripping, throwing, and rejection of toys for the boxes they came in for another year. Or until their children's birthdays. But we won't think about that right now. No, for now we will look over the mountains of toys and clothes boxes and stand in horrified solidarity while thinking...

Where the hell am I going to put all this crap?

Yes, where indeed.

Mr. C and I joked that we would need to add another room to our home to house the excess of gifts that Chicky received on Christmas. Unfortunately, neither one of us was laughing.

The holiday started innocently enough with a quiet Christmas Eve spent with my in-laws. We cooked them dinner...

(oh, please remind me that if I ever utter the words "We should use the good china because it's a special occasion" to knock some sense into myself with a gravy boat. That stuff has to be hand washed. Guess what hasn't been done yet? I'm waiting on one more Christmas miracle. It could happen.)

... and then exchanged a few gifts. Her grandparents bought Chicky a toy school bus, that sends her into fits of convulsive terror when it's turned on, and some clothes. Their not ones for excessive gift giving so the evening was very low key and manageable.

Then we went to see my family on Christmas Day and manageable became chaotic quicker than you could say "Ho, ho, whoa! Slow down there."

At one grandmother's house (my mom's mom) there were a minimum of 30 people, all having 30 different conversations, and many gifts for the first great grandchild/grand niece born in over 10 years (not including the children of my older cousins - the Jehovah's Witnesses - which we don't count because we never see them anyway. Hey, don't blame me. They chose religion over family. I can not be held accountable for not knowing their kids' names.).

Then it was back in the car to my Nana's house. I took one step in the front door and noticed that Santa's toy bag had exploded all over her living room. I have no photographic evidence of the mound of toys my father and his girlfriend (yes, those people) lovingly acquired for Chicky, for a few reasons. One, we took video and we're hoping that will suffice in lieu of photos in years to come. This happened mainly because it was the end of a long day and in the frenzy of bows and paper ripping we forgot to take out the digital camera. And also because we didn't have a wide-angle lens to capture it all. A picture wouldn't have done the spectacle justice, anyway. The pile was ginooooorrrrrmous.

I think, quite literally, that my dad and his lady cashed in their retirement money and spent it all on Chicky. I spent our time together on Christmas Day alternating between feelings of horror and deep affection for my dad. There were so many gifts that I felt guilty for accepting them all on behalf of his granddaughter, who lost interest in opening them halfway through the process. But on the other hand many of them were carefully picked out by him without any help from a female in his life, and if you knew anything about my father's history of gift giving you would know that this was a huge accomplishment. He sat there, quietly but with a proud look on his face, and watched his only grandchild rip open the paper with a "Weeeeeee!" and an "Oooooh" and marvel at the toys inside for a moment before moving on to the next.

Was I happy that I tricked Chicky into wearing her Santa suit? You bet your sweet bippy I was.

(Quick aside: She wore the damn Santa hat for three days up until the actual day but when the time came to put on the whole ensemble she took one look at the hat and ran away. And I wasn't kidding when I said I had to trick her into wearing the rest of it. But she did. Sigh.)

Now it's over for another year. I may have to get rid of some things in my home to make room for the toys, like all my furniture, but I'm happy with how it turned out.

How was your holiday?



30 comments:

metro mama said...

Glad you had a good time. Mine was very nice, but like you, I'm wondering where to put all the new toys!

Avalon said...

#27 on the list of why it's good to have a college -aged child:

She takes the loot back to her place with her! No extra room building necessary.

Glad Chicky's holiday was so much fun----and good on your Dad for having so much fun with the Grandbaby purchases!

J said...

Awww the grandpa and the toys was too sweet, good for him.

Stacy said...

I had to use a Target gift card I got for Christmas to buy more drawers for my little one's new toys. One of these days I'll be able to shop for myself. And her train set alone takes up most of the living room. (One of these days--maybe in the year 2020?--I'll also get control of my house again.)

Kate said...

Your get togethers sound like our family! The super small living room at my SIL's was jam-packed with people opening gifts left and right, and to this day I still have no idea who got my son the helicopter he loves to play with, nor does he! And don't get me started on the amount of toys - what are they charging at storage companies these days? I'm like seriously debating it.

All in all, it was a great Christmas and my youngest son's first. So he was totally in awe of everything and everyone. He's still trying to calm down.

something blue said...

We had to banish some plastic hell to the basement to make way for the new toys. To see the floor again is a dream we can dream for many years.

Maybe children love playing with empty boxes because they know they will soon be tossed away. I should test that theory with toys. Mwahaha!

bubandpie said...

You hit the nail on the head - I'm seriously thinking I may have to buy a larger house just to accommodate all the new toys. And the worst part is, I'm not even joking.

Lara said...

yay! i'm glad you had a good holiday, even if it was a little... um... *crowded*. maybe all the presents my family decided not to exchange this year (we did a present-less christmas) floated through the universe and went to chicky baby. if so, i'm sorry! are any of them at least fun for you to play with too? those are the best toys. :)

Kristi said...

"...cashed in their retirement money and spent it on Chicky"

I'm gagging at the moment. I have a deep and abiding fear of my elders not being able to retire in due course. Which is why we send them money books unsolicited.

But it sounds like this was a good thing for your dad, so congrats. And then get him "Rich Dad Poor Dad" or something to get him on the right path.

Visions of elderly housemates dance through my head....

Binkytown said...

Isn't that crazy? I too feel like the toy to person ratio in our house is way out of wack. Time to start putting some plastic crap away for another day. Hope you are recovering!

carrie said...

You'll be pleased to know that as they get older, the toys (most of them anyway) get smaller. This could be good or bad though, depending on how you look at it!!

Glad it was fun!

I am still tripping over wrapping paper and bows over here, and there is sticky tape on everything!

Carrie

Julie Pippert said...

Oh, next year you'll have a few new tricks up your sleeve.

Starting in September you'll begin purging toys and stuff, to make room (in anticipation) of new stuff flooding in.

Also the grandparental excitement wanes a bit, and the gifting becomes a bit more, ahem, manageable. In my experience. Also, the toys get smaller and the price tags bigger. Another nice deterrent.

Or you can be like me and have birthdays and Christmas all at once so it only happens once a year. ;)

IAI said...

I'm bummed I can't use the impending Santa visit as an incentive for good behavior. It seems wrong to pin the Easter Bunny with the whole naughty/nice thing ... not that I'm above it mind you.

How's that gravy boat doing?

SJ said...

I sighed a big sigh of relief when it was all over and done with, but then I got sad.

We enjoyed a nice quiet day with my parents. And I agree, I might have to sell some furniture to make room for the kids new loot!

Glad you had a great holiday.

Oh, The Joys said...

I wish there was a Goodwill store in my backyard so as the plastic crap came in the front I could just chuck an equal load out the back.

jen said...

ah...well, much quieter than yours. 30 people? i love the thought of that.

Sparky Duck said...

over quicker then I expected it to be, but good overall.

Chicky is a lucky young lady

Mamacita Tina said...

I'm still trying to find one of my kids from underneath the mountain of toys. And one of them has a birthday in a couple of weeks, yikes!

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

Tee hee hee....
Glad you had fun.

Ours was uneventful, thankfully. I'm getting a post prepared for the new year...I'm just not motivated....

Fresh Mommy said...

Christmas Eve I actually worried that we hadn't gotten enough stuff for my daughter so I proceeded to wrap a few extra items that were set aside as birthday presents for my niece (her birthday's not til February so I have time to re-shop for her). Come Christmas morning she was so overwhelmed she couldn't open them all. Throughout the day we'd ask, "Do you want to open another present?" and she'd answer wearily, "No." And her favorite gift of all -- Play Doh. There's little pieces of dried pink Play Doh all over my house.

Jenifer said...

I hear ya..... we don't have room for the toys we have already, I have no idea where to put the new ones. And since I now have a 4 month old, everytime I think about getting rid of something I think, "Well, Cayden could play with this in a few months." and the pile just keeps getting bigger.

Pendullum said...

Glad you had fun...
Ours was so busy...
And now I am basking in hanging out in my Pj'sfor the entire day.... and enjoying my family unit...
We will be having our huge xmas bash on the 30th... but in the meantime... I can sit here in denile and visit all my blogger friends...

T. said...

My kids tend to be spoiled rotten as if to overcompensate for the fact that their brother died.

"Oh, they miss their little brother...let's buy another amazingly irritating and overpriced trinket for them."

The good news is, I went in two days before Christmas and tossed out all their old toys. (Ahem, stuffed them into garbage bags and passed them onto Goodwill.)

The bad news is, I haven't seen either child since bringing home all their new found loot. I just leave a plate of food at their door, knock twice and run for cover. When they are down consuming the remains of the turkey carcass I have offered, they just slide the plate back under the door.

Wait, that isn't really bad news at all.

It's soooo peaceful and quiet here.

Nothing but the hum and beep of a new video game from one bedroom and the soft screeching of a child trying to imitate Jessica Simpson's yodelling from another.

We have sound proof doors. I highly recommend them!

Happy New Years!

Christina said...

Sounds like you had a nice holiday! Like you, it looks like Christmas exploded all over our living room, too. Toys and junk everywhere!

We're going to hide half of the new toys Cordy got, and then slowly bring them out over the course of the year.

Damselfly said...

So funny...I updated my Christmas baby gift post with a link to this!

ewe are here said...

I'm glad your holidays went so well, even if Chicky did have to wear the santa suit. ;-)

As for the clean up, just, well, pace yourself. It will get done eventually.

Cheers!

Jenny said...

Amen sister. I read a book that said that for every new toy your child gets you should give away an old one. I'm totally going to do this...but I'll still have too many. Sigh...

kittenpie said...

pumpkinpie ran out of steam before she got to the lovely baby doll and its snowsuit that I got her - and the $6 dora little people were the big hit anyway, so I'm fully putting the doll away in the closet and giving it to her birthday instead.

(love from The Grinch)

Lawyer Mama said...

Yes, we're building on a room as well. I should have known it was a bad sign when my parents said they were bringing an extra suitcase for the batteries. I feel your pain.

ems said...

We officially packed up Ella's old toys and made room for new ones, but then she only got 3 toys? The rest were clothes. I don't mind though.

It's so great that your dad showered the little one with loads of gifts. Maybe you can hide some of the ones she hasn't played with yet and have her open them up on another day? Turn an ordinary day into a special one?