After numerous disasters (Christmas 2007, for example, was the worst day of my entire life), irritations, and disruptions, we finally had a Christmas go right. It went well enough that I no longer officially hate Christmas.
We drove up to Alexandria on the 23rd, set up our tiny hotel tree, and wrapped presents. We took out the boys one at a time on XMAS Eve, Adam first. They opened their presents, then went about their usual Alex routines with us. Next year, we'll take Toby out first. He was very upset when we got to Home Deopt and it was already closed. He took a HD book back to school with him a couple of weeks ago and had me draw a Home Depot, so I suspect he had built up a HD visit in his mind for a while. It crushed him when we couldn't do it. Everything should still be open in the morning next year. We repeated the routines on Christmas Day, though we could only take them to the hotel and not to any of their other places, all of which were closed. After we returned Toby to St. Mary's on XMAS Eve, DW and I bought pizzas for the overnight staff at St. Mary's, delievered the pizzas to the school, then drove to Natchitoches, Louisiana, for that town's spectacular lights display. They've been at it for 83 years, and it's quite a sight--and it's well worth a holiday visit to Louisiana. I'm just saying.
The Boy Tree at our house. I gathered up all of the plush toys we've taken from the claw machines at WalMart and used them as ornaments. The crowning touch is having Bat-Man serve as the star, a suggestion DW made.
The Girl Tree at our house. It's pretty and elegant, and DW added more color to it this year.
DW brought home a little WalMart one day, and shortly thereafter I became attracted to the WalMart Cowboy Christmas village and its saloon, outhouse, and windmill. I'd never put up a village before.
DW and I visited Celebration in the Oaks in New Orleans City Park this year. Major fail. The lights looked like they were purchased at WalMart or Target, and half of them didn't work anyway. Celebration in the Oaks used to be a big deal, with fabulous light displays and other seasonal junk. Now it's like a dinky county fair. So sad. Thankfully, we saw Avatar just before we went there, so the evening was a net gain.
My best seasonal photo of Toby has him choosing the perfect cereal on Christmas Eve. He bought Cookie Crisp, which I had to eat after he left it at the hotel.
Adam opened his own presents this year, for the first time ever. He usually could care less about them, but he kept a few for himself this time around.
Adam and I saw this unattended fire engine outside one of the local WalMarts during his post-holiday home visit. He had some fun with it. No, I didn't open the door and turn on the sirens and lights, but that doesn't mean I didn't want to.