It was great to be home for Christmas this year. The last time that we were in the U.S. for Christmas, Aleena was only 2 years old, and Jacob was the same age that Aleena is now.
Santa was pretty generous to us this year. The kids didn't get to open a lot of presents here, as some of them are still back in Thailand. Nalin did write the old fat man a note telling him that we'd be here for Christmas, so he did deliver at least one of their presents here.
Over the last six months or so, every time that we are in a restaurant or out, the kids want to borrow Tim's iPhone to play games. Santa must have been watching, because they each got their own iTouch's. To say that they are a hit would be an understatement. Nalin had already filled up half of her 8gb (actually closer to 6.5) of space with photos and videos that she made. They love the little free apps available.
Tim and I both received Kindles for Christmas. I had almost ordered one in Thailand about a month ago before we knew that we were coming, but the wait was 7-9 weeks. In addition, Tim received a Canon HG20 video recorder, while I received an iPhone 4. We purchased the iPhone in Thailand, and Tim had told me that it hadn't arrived yet so that I wouldn't receive it until we got back, so I was surprised a bit. It only came in two days before we left, so I almost did wait. Of course, I got my Canon 5D Mark II about a month before Christmas. I don't know if that counts as a Christmas present or not, but overall it was a pretty good holiday season.
But of course, Christmas isn't all about phat loot and electronics. We spent Christmas Eve at mom's and dad's and saw family. Tim hadn't seen some of the family in almost four years.
On Christmas morning, we opened presents at the house from Santa and the immediate family. It was nice celebrating it with Eric, Heather and Ethan. Since the kids got the iTouches, they didn't get a lot of other presents, so they would open one, then wait for Ethan to open three or four. Fortunately, they did a pretty good job of waiting, and Ethan is a much faster gift-opener than he was in the past.
In the afternoon, we went to my Uncle Steve's and Aunt Carolyn's house. Just as dinner was starting, Nalin's allergies started acting up so we had to leave.
This afternoon we are going back to mom's and dad's to exchange gifts with the grandparents, and Laura's and Eric's families. In the past, we would do that after the Christmas Eve party at mom's and dad's, but the kids would be exhausted by the time we started opening presents, so we moved it.
My guess is that shopping will be on the agenda starting tomorrow. The kids have some Christmas money to spend, and there are things that they can get here that are harder to get in Thailand. Tim and I are also not adverse to doing some shopping.
I think Jacob summed it up best when I asked him how he liked Christmas this year. "Dad, this is the best Christmas that I've had in a long time."