Tuesday, December 24, 2013


Christmas Eve started at 6:30 in the morning. iSleepy.

The second thought going through my head as the boys jumped on our bed screaming on about decorating the tree was actually something that my loving wife had recently whispered to me:

'I can still return your Christmas gifts.'

My threat came too late, though; the boys had already made their way into the living room and were too busy jack-assing around with fragile porcelain to notice my pre-coffee grumbling.

In a move that was unexpected followed by an act that was expected, Peter broke the first bulb and cried.

After Tommy broke the second bulb, I made an interesting discovery of how much the personalities of brothers can differ. Tommy froze and stared at me. I froze and waited for him to break down into tears and beg forgiveness.

'Can I have a milkshake?'

Before my jaw could move again, David strutted away from the tree, waving his hands in the air and claiming victory to the contest that nobody knew he was playing to see who would be the only Johnson to not break a bulb. Congratulations!

After some mild cursing and major sweeping, Peter decided to, you know, just be cautious.

'Um, Peter, just curious, but weren't you wearing a pair of oversized Crocs on Tommy's fourth birthday when you lost your footing and fell from the garden wall? You know, that time you face-planted the sidewalk and broke your wrist?'

Peter is a quick learner and he has an excellent teacher, so he simply ignored me. Kind of like how Angie ignored me when I told her that she was making Chiara's braid tight enough to make her eyes pop out.

As the sun went down, Grams, Opa, Barbara and Leif showed up and we began our delicate dance of cultures.

See, in Germany, you finish Christmas Eve dinner by herding the kids into another room to look for cookies and then, after about five to ten minutes, they hear a loud 'Ho-Ho-Ho!' and race back to the tree to find that they just narrowly missed the Man.

Now, provided you don't speak with my wife, which I highly recommend, I'm not one to criticize a culture's tradition, but come on! The kids' questions alone should sum it up.

'Papa, why does the Ho-Ho-Ho sound like Opa?'

'Well, all men sound the same after two beers; Santa is probably just more lit than Rudolph.'

'Yeah, but we were in the other room, and you were in the living room. Why didn't you see Santa?'

'Well, it's a well-known fact that men cannot see clearly after two beers, so my theory is...'

At this point, the Q&A session was abruptly ended when Angie launched a gift-frenzy that put to shame my previous claims that the boys could not possibly wind themselves up tighter. My children then did things to wrapping paper that still makes me shudder.

As the night progressed, I'm pretty sure that Apple stocks surged. Peter was the first to get fruity.

Peter was shaking with Christmas spirit after unwrapping his 'iPhone'. I write 'iPhone' because it was actually an iPod Touch, but we'll let Peter figure that out in his own time.

'Hey, Peter, why don't you call Arman and tell him about your new iPhone?'

I know, I'm an ass, but I had moved on to snapping joyful shots of Tommy, who had unknowingly 'inherited' Peter's now old iPod Nano. 

See, Peter now had an 'iPhone', so he had no problems ditching his silly little 'Nano-pod'. With two older brothers, Tommy has developed an unhealthy hatred of hand-me-downs, so we simply neglected to inform him that his iPod Nano, that had come in a plastic bag, wrapped in tissue paper and inexplicably pre-loaded with all of the songs that Peter had had on his iPod Nano was not exactly shipped directly from Cupertino. Hey, come one! It was Christmas Eve; the night of lies and deception was just beginning.

So, yeah. Peter had his 'iPhone', Tom had a recycled iPod Nano, what about David? Well, thanks for being nosey, Rudolph.

That's right, Destructo Dave got a brand new iPod Nano that actually did dent my wallet. Red, of course, with kickass shades to complete the coolness. For the rest of the night, he kept screaming at the top of his lungs how much he liked his new headphones. I'm pretty sure he meant the iPod Nano, but I've been trained not to question David's train of thought.

Not long after the frenzy, the Christmas entourage cleared out. This probably had something to do with previous years and the fact that our guests actually remember.

About five minutes after everyone left, I snapped this shot, which pretty much summed up Christmas Eve.

Tommy was still on iCloud nine, David was still tickled pink with his new pair of headphones and Peter was at peace with his new 'iPhone'.  I'll refrain from commenting on Angie, who was in the background getting her Crackbook fix on an, you guessed it, iMac
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: That everyone got good presents and that it's Christmas.  
David: That it was Christmas and that everyone come and that we had fun.
Tom: That we did get presents.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: I didn't have a worst.
David: That today I cried because Tommy kicked me down off the elephant and kicked me in the face.
Tom: That you did say we could play Nintendo and then David play the whole time and I could play not.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: I want that everyone is nice to each other and that I get good gifts and that everyone is happy.
David: I want to have a good Christmas and that everyone has fun and is happy.
Tom: Look at my presents and play good with my friends and play Nintendo a little bit.

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