The man in the red suit did not disappoint.
The girls must have had a hard time falling asleep because Ryan and I woke up before they did. We laid in bed, waiting for the pitter patter of feet, so we could pretend that we were sleeping. Eventually, we did hear Nora's door, Nora's feet run and then STOP!, and then, a moment later, she came running at full speed to our bedroom. It was hard to stay still, because I had a fit of the giggles, but I managed.
Nora burst in our room and cried out, "Santa left presents! There's a tent! Its not wrapped, I saw it, Santa left a tent!!!" She turned around and ran out as quick as she ran in. Ryan and I went upstairs, and I was surprised to see three neat stacks of gifts. Apparently I've been a good girl, because I had presents too! Nora eyed the gifts impatiently, and finally, I caved and broke rule the only real rule of the house. I woke up Emily. My oh my, she gave me the stink eye. But as soon as she saw the aforementioned tent, she perked up and sat in it happily. And then the gift opening began. Nora and Emily must have been very very good. They got games, books, Super Why dolls, and big play sets. Plus the tent. Plus more wooden tracks for their Thomas trains! Where to start??? They played with everything. They ate candy canes and chocolate for breakfast. They were happy.
After our breakfast of junk, Nora wanted to play the Cootie games in the arts and crafts (and computer and game) room. We opened the door, and guess what!!! That silly Santa Claus, he left a huge slide hiding next to the computer. Nora and Emily were stunned silent for a moment, which was followed by shrieking and running and sliding and general mayhem. Such fun. This was even better than last year, when Santa hid the Pixos. (I had a tiny suspision that Santa had hid something, and let me tell you folks, I was just dying for them to find that toy! I actually cried a little because of their excitement. It was just so darn cute).
The morning was just as delicious as a morning can be until about 10:30, at which time Emily decided that the ups were just too much and so it was time for a low. She had a pretty big meltdown, fueled by the candy and excitement and lack of sleep. I was worried that perhaps we wouldn't get out of the house and get to my sister's, but Ryan and I are pros. The three girls all wore purple dresses and headed to Renee and Brian's. The ride in the snow calmed them down, and I was especially pleased with their behavior. I was proud to see them sharing with cousin Layla, and remembering their manners for the most part.
We had a cozy afternoon visiting with my side of the family. The snow fell down, but the coffee in my mug was warm and the food in my belly was delicious. Dinner was a hoot; the three girls were stripped down to their tights in order to avoid ruining their dresses with tomato sauce. The dinner conversation was crazy (hello, its my family, what else would you expect?). More presents. More snow. More Christmas music. It was a thoroughly satisfying evening. The night ended with a trip to my in-laws for a sleep over. Thank goodness too, because with all the snow that came down, we wouldn't have made it back home if we tried.