We had a nice “quiet” Christmas. Since I had just spent the last 3.5 months in Florida, and we had seen most of our family at the MAVEN launch in November, we decided to stay close to home with just the four of us. The boys are in the Christmas sweet spot. They’re old enough to know what they want, and to ask plenty of questions, but still have full faith in the Christmas spirit.

We went to visit Santa Claus about two weeks before the big day. On the ride to the event, both of the boys rattled off a never ending list of what they wanted. We told them to pair it down to just the one item they wanted to be sure Santa wouldn’t forget. Evan immediately chose the “Brave bow and arrow” (a toy archery set based on the Disney movie). That has consistently been his pick since we saw it at the Magic Kingdom last month.

Alex struggled to narrow down the field. Eventually, Lara suggested he ask for “Shrek 3”, since he loves movies so much (and mom is a bit partial to the Shrek series herself). Alex gladly cooperated. He marched up to Santa, who was stationed in a very loud gymnasium. When Alex came back, he seemed a little down. When we asked him if he had asked Santa for the movie, he said “yes, but Santa said ‘no'”. We assured him that Santa just didn’t hear him right, and suggested that we write it in a letter to make sure Santa understood. Never fear.

We split up the present opening between Christmas Eve and Christmas day this year, trying to get the boys to understand that Santa only brings some of the toys, and that many are gifts from relatives. I don’t think that worked, but we’ll keep trying. Anyway, they loved almost everything they got. In one of those classic Christmas memories that of course I did not capture on video, Evan opened up one box and exclaimed, “Oh no! I got a shirt!” I guess they aren’t quite ready for clothes sent from Santa!

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