This year, Sis and I are both in New York, so we got to spend Christmas together. She came down for Thanksgiving, so we decided it would be appropriate if we came up for Christmas.
I think this was Lorenz's first Christmas that he had some awareness of what it was and that he was getting presents. I thought for sure that he would not be able to wait opening his presents, but Sis explained several times to him the schedule that presents are opened after breakfast on Christmas morning, and he was cool with it. In fact, he didn't really understand that he was getting a bunch of stuff until he was about half way through the present unwrapping.
I had a hard time picking out a gift. Sis had various criteria. She would prefer a gift that was nurturing, designed to spark the intellect, and preferably had animals - and more specifically whales. I ignored all that and got him three Playmobil dinosaur sets. I have to admit - they were super cool. There was one set with a car and people, and the car had a big cage on wheels that you could tow behind that had a velociraptor in it. Super neat. And another set had a Triceratops, a baby triceratops, and they all lived in a volcano that you could explode with a button. Oh my god. I get excited every time I think about it.
Lorenz took a bit to get really excited about it. That was partly due to the fact that there was a lot of assembly involved. David tried to act like he was put out by doing so much assembly, but the truth is that as soon as he saw all the little pieces and an instruction book, he seized them all and made himself a little workstation - all the while complaining about how much work it was.
After present time, we got in the car to go see a movie. We drove about 30 minutes out of town to see Bolt, but it turns out the web had lied and that the theater was not open and if it was open on Christmas, Bolt wasn't playing. I realized that we had worked so hard to get Lorenz excited about the movie in order to leave his new toys behind, that we had another crushing disappointment on our hands. So we went back to Ithaca and saw "The Tale of Desperaux", which he liked. He's all business when he watches movies and is extremely well behaved. They had a photo booth in the movie theater which we used for great hilarity.
For dinner that evening, we made a delicious Mexican dinner - Sopa Azteca and Mushroom/Spinach Enchiladas. It was so good, I made a variation a week later when David and I were back in New York. For dessert, I had made a pumpkin tart. It was good, but a little too sweet and dense. I'll have to look for a recipe that lightens everything up.
The next morning, I was anxious to take some shots of the great outdoors. We had seen some great views of frozen waterfalls on the way up. So we all went to Buttermilk Falls and Ithaca Falls. The former was a bit of disappointment because instead of looking grandiose it just looked dirty. I think the best time for shots of the waterfalls is during the spring when all the snow from winter is melting.
This year actually had put me back in the Christmas spirit. I have been a real scrooge in recent years. I'm just not that into Christmas. But the winter drive to upstate New York, hanging out with Sis in her collegiate apartment, and seeing Christmas through the eyes of a 3-year-old renewed my faith in the holiday.