That's okay. All my adult children asked for was a "mellow, calm Christmas," which, lucky them, was what we had. Of course my kids have been doing the split-family juggle for most of their lives. There used to be a whole lot more family, but still--the idea of coming to our house in the morning, eating pastry, opening presents, and staying until the afternoon felt like an unbearable luxury. And there were small bright moments during the day, as well.
* My parents stopped by and we exchanged gifts out on the lawn, with masks on. On the one hand, yes--I was sort of dying to be hanging out at their house--my stepmom has the most adorable kitchen with tiles of chickens and well organized clean cabinets and lots of memories and I missed it. But I got to see my parents--safely--and that was good. I have the feeling that when this is all over I'm going to be like a big sugar-coated labradoodle. I'll be engulfing complete strangers in big sloppy hugs because I can. Anyway--the kids were super happy to see them, and because THEIR gifts were a surprise to Mate and me, they sparked the most commentary among the household. Most of it along the lines of "Go grandma and grandpa!" because did I mention they're rockstars?
* We hosted the two adult children and my son's girlfriend on Christmas Eve. After the gift exchange on the lawn, I had my son's girlfriend open her presents mostly because the coat I'd ordered her (on Dec. 2nd) had arrived on December 23rd and I wanted to make sure she liked it. Ulterior motive? Me? Yes. She LOVED it. The other kids also got to open their one Christmas Eve present while she was there and Big T opened his present from Grandma and Pa and got towels. Chicken looked at them and caught her breath. "If I got towels I'd cry tears of joy," she said in wonder. Yes, she opened her towels the next day, and I can confirm she did cry.
* Each kid had sort of a big-ticket whimsical item under the tree--except Squish. It was SUPPOSED to be a glass frog candle holder from Etsy, but the post office being what it is at the moment--and the poor vendor being from Michigan, I think, bless them all--it did not arrive. Anticipating this, I ordered them a toy--which sounds a little silly for a 14 year old, but they really love My Little Pony, and I got a collector's set, and you know what? It earned me a "Thank you, Santa!" and I'm good with that!
* Chicken did get her towels--and teared up a little. And the kids got cash from grandma, which they dubbed the "Grandparent Stimulus Check" and since I know it's going to be put to school books and rent and groceries, I think that's appropriate. Chicken also got her octopus hat--and loved it. I'm almost done with ZoomBoy's btw. Her "whimsy" item was a teacup/pot combination in the shape of a cat. She was super excited <3
* ZoomBoy was another victim of the USPS--we spent a long night in November ordering patches to put on his rock and roll vest. Unfortunately, all his rock bands are European and the patches were from Poland. They're on their way, I guess, but, uhm... You know. Maybe February? BUT we did manage to find some FunCo figurines from The Mandalorian, and Grandma made him Darth Vader pajamas. They're too big--but she can fix that. His measurements are sort of hard to fathom--he's so tall and thin!
* Big T and his girlfriend got coffee cups from Etsy--he looked at them at first and was like "Eh?" because of the delicate china blue pattern. Then I pointed up that the pattern showed Godzilla and Pteranadon and Cthulu terrorizing an innocent city and he was just as tickled as I was.
And Mate got a King's sweater--lightweight, comfy, and darnitall, he cannot stop watching the Cardiac Kings break his heart. It's good to represent.
And as for me?
I got a very funny T-shirt, some lovely bath stuff in my favorite scent, a microphone for my weekly reading on my FB page, and an Entertainment Weekly focusing on the last Supernatural episode. After finishing off Bridgerton, Mate and I started rewatching the series so I can catch up on the last five seasons. It was a lovely gift--and generally a lovely day. Now, if only I can get my Christmas cards out tomorrow, we'll be doing okay.