Christmas post mortem
We survived! And in the end, quite happily. Here's how it went down.
My big 'clever' idea was to do family presents in the afternoon to save hassles the next morning. Ha. It was a complete and utter disaster.
It began when the two year old brother got the first present - a Thomas the Tank Engine something or other. Bright Eyes went off. He wanted it, and his brother wanted it, and they both screamed and yelled.
From there it did not settle down. Bright Eyes was overwhelmed by everything, jealous of his brother, there was paper and stuff everywhere and he kept yelling "J (his brother), move away! Move away J!"
By the end of it, my husband and I were exhausted, despondent and completely morose. He went off to run two more services. I cleaned up, calmed them all down and took them to church. The day was over. (Oh yes, except for the baby then hitting his face on a drum kit and needing a stitch...)
With 24 adults and loads of kids at the lunch, we decided we wouldn't take any risks when it came to present time. Daddy took Bright Eyes and his presents into another room upstairs and opened everything quietly with him. It worked beautifully and he had a wonderful afternoon.
On the food front, he ate junk all day... GF/CF junk thankfully... but he did live on chips and crackers. Oh well.
Yet another family party with presents. This time he coped with opening them in the same room with everyone else, but he started to get overwhelmed once it got noisy and messy, so as soon as I saw the signs, I moved him into the bedroom where he played happily by himself.
He got so much Thomas stuff that I think we are singlehandedly propping up the franchise. Mind you, I didn't buy any of it except the bicycle helmet. What we bought him was a two wheeler bike with training wheels, which, after the initial traumas, he now likes and is becoming very skilled at riding up and down. He even went down to the bike track with sister and dad the other day!