I have a system about Christmas presents. It may not be a very good system, but I am a woman who loves systems nonetheless. Basically, I order a bunch of toys & assorted sundries online, usually of the Amazon-persuasion, and whenever the boxes arrive I stuff them in the closet under the stairs. (very Harry Potteresque) The boxes are unopened, and the kids are none the wiser.
The fatal flaw with this brilliant organizational system is Christmas Eve. While the children are dreaming of sugar plums in their beds, I am hauling out all the boxes and strapped with the monumental task of wrapping them all before morning the next day. This is a job that seems to take forever. Not only have I completely forgotten what I've purchased, but I make sure everything is "fair," one for Bunny, one for Squirt, one for Little Man... etc. I wrap them, with the special Santa Claus wrapping paper, in order and label them accordingly. As I was frantically throwing the paper over boxes, I was thinking that I had drastically over-purchased this year. Gift after gift piled up on the couch beside me, a mountain of presents. I began to think about perhaps saving a few for the January birthdays. (all three of my kids have January birthdays- le sigh) After I had assembled the massive dollhouse, I moved the presents from the heap in the living room to beautifully arranged under the tree. (One would think I would have taken a picture of the spectacle, but no. I was too entrenched in fretful grinchitude)
The mountainous pile from the living room seemed to shrink as I moved them into position in the emptiness of our playroom. Perhaps I had not bought enough?! The excitement of the morning soon squelched my fears. It was perfect. While the unwrapping did go a little faster than I had expected, 3 hours of wrapping = one half hour of opening. The kids were delighted with every single present. Even the ones I was skeptical about, like the Green Toys Build a Bouquet, which in reviews seemed to be unappealing to those under 3 years of age. Building flower arrangements seems to be quite a hobby for my girls, happily.
I was glad that I had made an extra effort the week before Christmas to do some deep cleaning of the house. After Christmas is not the time for scrubbing showers. Not to mention that winter break, while we're barely a week in is... well, exhausting. The kids are slowly coming off the high of Christmas. They still pester me about the next "super fun activity"on a daily basis. (I have none! Play with your new toys, for heaven sakes!)
The Husband has been working late, only having Christmas Day off, so I feel like I'm running a circus singlehandedly. Other than those complaints, this holiday has been nothing but pure bliss. From the sparkle in their faces in all the pictures, I'd say it was all well worth the work.