However, this time around, my sister, her husband, and my twin nieces were there. And since the twins are 5 years old, the gift-unwrapping was a big production. They got lots and lots of toys. Okay, I admit that I got them a few myself (with lots of help selection-wise from my sister, because I haven't got a clue what little kids like) but the vast majority was from the grandparents.
Having virtually no contact or experience with kids in my regular life, the world of children's toys is a strange and unnerving place. I have some comments to make;
(1) It's unbelievable how SECURELY packaged some toys are -- namely, the Mulan doll from Barbie's Disney Princess series. Not only was it held by two twist ties, but it was practically sewn to the packaging in over 10 different places with fishing line! Not only do you need scissors to get it out, but you need a bloody seam-ripper! Even Mulan's hair was sewn in place.
(2) The Hello Kitty brandname has unfortunate mental associations for me, suitable for mature audiences only. ^_^;;;
(3) Personally, I think that noise-making gifts are a really bad idea. What was my sister and her husband thinking when they gave the twins a musical wood block and metal triangle!? And I'm not talking about cheap, weak-sounding instruments, either. They're real musical instruments -- bought at a music store, no less -- and they are incredibly LOUD. Naturally, the twins were pounding on them like crazy. ::cringe wince:: I had flashbacks of the poor Grinch when he complained about all the noise, noise, noise...!
(4) The Chinese restaurant we went to for Christmas lunch was absolutely packed. Getting service, ordering food, and eating that food had the air of a full-contact combat sport. O_o
But despite all this, it was still a pretty good Christmas. ::exhausted grin::