Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Necessities

Christmas is increasingly chaotic as JED get older and older. The older JED twins already know that Christmas is great and is filled with presents that they can open and lots of pretty new things. They were chuffed for days and by the time Christmas Eve rolled by, they were literally vibrating on the spot from all the excitement.

Even though they received gifts as early as a week before Christmas, I forbade them from opening them till Christmas. Note to self: That built suspense really great but it does accumulate A LOT to open come Christmas morning. And the twins knew that so first thing Christmas morning, taking note that they had gone to sleep at almost 11 pm on Christmas Eve, they shook me awake.

I dragged myself out of bed muttering something to myself about how Bill Watterson had it right in Calvin and Hobbes. Everything I remember reading in Calvin and Hobbes about his parents' reactions to him storming the house Christmas morning, was going through my head. 

Their excitement was certainly contagious and I woke up enough to participate and oooh and ahhh at their presents. Being there when they opened their presents meant that I had to also assemble what they got. As the present pile grew bigger and bigger, I realised that I was repeatedly using the same things to get the presents into work worthy conditions.

1. Philips Screwdriver- important instrument that opens up all the battery compartments for the blasted toys that require batteries.
2. Batteries (Mostly double As)- Toy companies must get a big kick back from Energizer and Duracell for making toys that require batteries. The attraction of the bright flashy lights that can cause seizures and the tinny, repetitive music that can wake the dead is just too great for the kids and they play it till the batteries go flat and we go broke buying new batteries. We have gone rechargeable but it still annoys me nonetheless because I have to go hunting for lost batteries and account for them in the various toys round the house.
3. Scissors- There is so much tape on the box to keep the toy down. And it is taped down in such a way that we can't use our fingers to break through it. I think it is a conspiracy to keep more workers in the production line.
4. Nimble fingers- The same people who figured out how to wire tie the blasted toys to the cardboard backing in the box are probably the same people who came up with the flexi-cuffs that cops use today or perhaps these are the people who evolve and make wire ties, earn a boat load of money and retire before they hit 30.
5. Wire Cutters- When said fingers are numb from all the un-doing and the child is driving you nuts with the millionth "please open my present!", cut through with wire cutters. Why I don't use it as the first option? 3 kids under 6 with wire cutters on the floor? Just asking for trouble.


And I have also learnt some key things about opening Christmas presents 

1. Never throw away instruction manuals. Evan is nuts about Transformers now. He discovered them after bringing home an encyclopaedia of Transformers. So, he got a ton of Transformers. Unfortunately, while he loves them and can go off at length about their stats, he can't transform them. Nimble fingers he does not have. So, he gets us or more specifically Packrat to transform them and to do that, Packrat needs the instruction manual. Unfortunately, Deadend's manual got tossed out accidentally so he remains a Deceptacon stuck in a car's body. Too bad for Deadend. 

2. If you know what the big presents are, get the kids to open the smaller ones first, because once the big ones are opened, the small ones stand no chance. And while this was happening, I was thinking of the poor toys in the Toy Story trilogy. 

3. Don't open all the presents at a go. Stagger them. Give presents air time and it helps prevent present fatigue. The 'wow's are louder this way. 

Anyway, we can finally see the bottom of the tree now and JED have enough toys to open a toy store all by themselves. But before they could do that, I made them pick toys from their new stashes and give them to our helper, for her son. I told them that unlike them, her son wasn't getting anything on Christmas and they should share some of what they had. And they picked some very nice toys for our helper's son. This fits into the bigger message we want to send out at Christmas. The same one that I wrote about for JEDPacks! And I hope that JED will remember all these little acts and will do these things without prodding when they get older.

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