A slow great time was had by all. For the first time in many years, it was just a few of us on the big day, and I think that actually worked out really well for Delphinium. She took her time with each phase of events, and I'm pretty sure that allowed her to enjoy things rather than having her get overwhelmed. As far as I can remember she didn't even cry once.
We got up when she did, eat some breakfast, and did stockings once Daddy woke up. That alone was exciting since there were so many little goodies in there! The look on her face was unforgettable as she pulled out wind-up babies, kaleidoscopes, animals, and even a chocolate coin. She would have cheerfully stuck with that for the rest of the day, but no, no there were bigger things in store. The stockings were hung in our family room near the fireplace. However, in our living room lived the tree and the presents.
We'd been working hard all morning to keep her out of the living room, so she wouldn’t see the major, unwrapped gifts from Santa. Once breakfast and stockings were accomplished, we could finally turn her loose. Speaking of expressions, the one she made for the bouncy cow was particulary interesting. "Cooooooow! Moooooo!" and then bouncybouncybouncybouncybouncy as she figured out its use.
The cow was eventually displaced by the glory of a tray of wooden food which could be "cut" by a wooden knife (think Velcro). A new baby doll came next "New baby! New baby!" which was very much loved and petted until it was literally thrown aside for a train booster pack (more track and goodies for her beloved wooden train). Things continued in this vein for some time, and that is why, at about noon, we had a break for lunch and naps. This meant leaving a good portion of the presents still wrapped under the tree, but what's the point in rushing?
A pesimist would say that this is proof of the crass commercialism of our age. A kid gets so many gifts that she can't even open them all, and when she does they just get thrown aside in an instant when the next thing appears. I have to disagree. Each of her new presents will be rediscovered in the weeks ahead as she takes the time to really appreciate what she has. Some things, like the baby doll and the trains, are already fixtures. Other items will take more time to make an impression.
On the whole I'm really happy with our Christmas experience. Of course it would have been nice to have our uncles, aunties, cousins, and grandparents there for the holiday, but since they couldn't come, it was good to find the silver lining in a small holiday. Who knows what next year might bring.