We had dinner with my parents and exchanged gifts. Some exchange! We walked in with one bag of stuff and left with three. One person, one very small person, was to blame. She hauled in Lincoln Logs, a set of giant dominoes, a tub of Play-doh, lots of great stuff. The rest of us got less bulky items. My mom had a new computer, so I installed some software she needed. We got home around 9, which would have been a good bedtime for Victoria but she was aching to crack open the Play-doh so we played with that for almost an hour.
For years we did the same rounds every Christmas: home stuff, in-laws, my parents, back home. The kids were always cranky by the end of the day and I blamed the overstuffed schedule. Last year we went out of town for Christmas, which would have been fine except we were stuck in a hotel in Las Vegas. I can take about 36 hours of that place and then I am done. Three days and I am crawling out of my skin--I actually was on the way to the airport to return early I was so miserable. Cooler heads prevailed and we spent the rest of the time at Red Rock, at the Hoover Dam, at the Grand Canyon, and it turned out to be a nice week overall. This year we had a very relaxed day but the kids were still cranky by the end. Maybe I just have irritable children.