American in Spain

Christmas Came Early This Year

December 23, 2009
Big box for Nora

At our house this year, we had Christmas morning on the evening of December 16th. This was mainly because it was the last night my parents were visiting and giving gifts is much better when you can see the look on the recipient's face as they open their presents. Plus, the more the merrier. To begin the ceremony, my father announced the system our family has used for as long as I can remember to inform the three first-time participants, Marga, Belén, and Nora.

The youngest family member able to do so shall pull gifts from the tree one by one, announcing who each one is from and to, and deliver it to its recipient. The recipient shall thereby open the gift while everyone watches and thank the giver. Repeat until there are no more presents under the tree, whilst trying to alternate recipients as much as possible.

This year, the youngest able present distributor was Belén. It just so happened that we had a perfect hat for her to wear throughout the ceremony. Christmas Belén

After all, Belén's name means Bethlehem. You can't get much more Christmasier than that!

Nora unwrapping Christmas present

Nora immediately understood that the crinkly sound of the wrapping paper is one of the most magical parts of Christmas morning.

Be afraid, beautiful people!

I got a book called The Geeks' Guide to World Domination: Be Afraid, Beautiful People.

A Seuss Classic

Nora got an old classic.

Marga gets a Bobo Glove

Marga got a Bobo Glove...

Talk to the Bobo Glove!

...which was mostly played with by someone else.

Erik gets a Quaker Meadows hat

I got a hat for winter golf.

A book!

Nora got a cool book called Where's The Bone?, which involves moving a bone around into various scenes. The book is made of cloth, which makes a lot of sense at her age.

Toddler Owner's Manual

Marga got a Toddler Owner's Manual. That should come in very handy!

Irish chocolates!

I got a box of Irish chocolates and...

An Irish Golf Hole Photograph

A map of a beautiful golf hole in Ireland, all part of a plan to enjoy an Irish golf outing in 2011.

Wrapping paper is more fun than presents

Nora enjoyed the wrapping paper so much, she was reluctant to open her gifts!

Ribbon sucking

And all the ribbon!

A book about her family

Another nice cloth book, this time called My Family Garden with pictures of her grandparents and great-grandfather in it! Cool!

Bridge Calendar!

A bridge calendar for me. Am I good at this Happy Present Receiver face or what?

Big box for Nora

The biggest box of all was for Nora.

Jack in the box!

A Jack-In-The-Box! Cool! What could possible happen when Grandpa turns the handle...?

Starting early on Fear of Clowns

GAH! A clown! We have to start on her coulrophobia as early as we can.

Albert Einstein action figure!

An Albert Einstein action figure! Now I can act out my thought experiments in the third person!

Albert Einstein action figure!


Mommy got a Drinking Happy Bird

Marga got one of those weird oscillating sippy birds, which totally fascinated Nora.


Nora got a Peter Rabbit doll and book.

Belén got a green scarf!

Belén got a green cashmere scarf.

Marga got a red scarf!

And Marga got a red one...that Nora wanted to play with.

Cashmere scarf tickles!

Hee hee! That tickles!

Happy with his sweater

A blue sweater for Paul.

Betsy gets some jewelry!

And some fine jewelry for Betsy.

A jaw harp!

I got a jaw harp...

You're doing it wrong

...which I have no clue how to play yet.

A flute for Marga

Marga got a flute!

Dinner with Grandpa

Soon it was time for Nora's dinner...

Snoozing with Grandpa

...which completely knocked her and her grandfather out. Christmas morning is tiring!

The full set of all eighty photos is available on Flickr. What a magical time of year!