Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas with the McFamily

Each year we celebrate Christmas with Dear Husband's family on a weekend surrounding Christmas, but not on Christmas. A major change this year was this year we scaled back our gift-giving tradition and asked each niece/nephew to draw a name and buy a gift for that cousin only. The adults stopped buying gifts for each other years ago, but some of us were not so ready to scale back the gifts for the children.

In defense of the lots-o-gifts tradition, my family buys gifts for all of the children as well, despite requests for a name draw. Can I just say... and I know that some of my readers will NOT like this... drawing names is the way to go! There. I said it!. I'll say it again. "Drawing names is the best way to exchange gifts."

Drawing names is best for several reasons:

Gosh - there are so many so I'll consolidate them into categories...

1. Buying the gift is more fun. No longer am I scrambling to buy loads of kid gifts that I am hoping will not sit at the bottom of the toy box. It was so fun to pick out my gifts for E: Operation game and Captain Underpants books. If you haven't shopped beginner chapter books for little boys then you are missing a world of fun with the Capt. Underpants series. Dear Husband Ebeneezer bought one gift this season and it was the Capt Underpants books for E. DH was loving the titles so much that I think that he wanted a set for himself. In the end, he bought E two of the Underpants books... something about a wedgie woman and also a bionic booger boy. Hah!

2. Giving gifts is more fun. This year I was not staring at a sea of children opening gifts with paper flying everywhere. Seriously, we do not let our children get THAT out of control, but six kids in a room with a dozen presents each is a bit much for anyone's tastes. I was wide-eyed with excitement when E opened his Operation game and ran to his mother just shaking with excitement about his game. His was soooooo sincerely excited about his gift which was really fun for me to watch.

3. Playing with the gifts is manageable. Inevitably, the kids want to play with the gifts, not just stare at the boxes. So, we played with E's Operation game. Then, we played with L's train set. Then, we got out P's Tonka truck. And so on. This was just much more laid back and enjoyable for all - including the kids (probably) even though they won't admit it.

Other highlights from the McFamily Christmas:

Dear Husband tried to determine which ball is the fastest ball?

Lulu opened this great shirt from her Brother.

Bro did his best to let us know that he wants a race car set too!

I ate too much and broke the couch. Seriously!

On another note: I can't get the camera to work well inside. My pictures turn out blurry. Sometimes I use the "inside" function (which activates the flash) and other times I use the "action" function which has a fast shutter speed to capture fast moving children. Neither seems to work well. Any suggestions!


MitziKai said...

OK. I'm sold. The day was so manageable and calm, and the kids didn't care a bit. LOVED IT! Was nice to spend some time together. Baby Bro is getting so big.

Mim said...

We've done the names out of a hat thing since I was in my late teens, there was a bit of a hitch for a few years as we shifted from celebrating with all of my grandmother's family down one generation to all of my mother's family but we're back to sanity now.