The Perfect Day


Merry Christmas to all! Christmas at the Perrow household was quite stress-free
this year. We always travel to the grandparents’ places around Christmas, but we
always wake up Christmas morning in our own house. In previous years, we would
wake up Christmas morning, open our presents as fast as possible, then pack the
kids in the van with one or two of their new toys and head 3-4 hours north
to either my parents’ place or Gail’s dad’s place, to be there in time for
Christmas dinner. Then we’d do Christmas all over again there, and a day or two
later leave that set of grandparents and drive the hour to the other set. A day or
two after yet another Christmas, we’d come home to the huge mess that we left.

We only made one change to that schedule this year, but it made a huge
difference. We decided not to go north for Christmas dinner, but leave later in
the day. As a result, we took our time opening presents, and if the kids wanted
to play with something for 10 minutes before opening the next one, no problem.
This small change completely killed any time pressure that we felt, and made
Christmas Day very enjoyable. However, that’s not the perfect day I referred to
in the title of this entry. Boxing Day we spent at my in-laws place, and the 27th
at my parents’ place, and both days were very relaxing and enjoyable, but neither
of them was the perfect day either. The perfect day was yesterday, the 28th.

The boys slept
until about 7:30, and I got up with them while Gail slept in. Ryan had already
made himself a waffle, and I got Nicky some breakfast as well. They watched
some TV while I got their clothes and swimming stuff ready, then I drove them
over to the YMCA for a “Kitchen Chemistry” class followed by a swim. While they
were there, Gail and I cleaned up the family room — moved new toys to the
play room or the boys’ rooms, collected all the wrapping paper and boxes for
recycling, stuff like that. Then I got the boys, and they played happily until
lunch time. Lunch was something simple, and then we played a game or two as a
family. I got the Scene It: Harry Potter DVD game, and we played that a couple
of times. Ryan’s seen the first movie once but not the rest, and Nicky hasn’t
seen any of them, but they enjoyed watching the clips and stuff. After that,
Ryan wanted to do one of the puzzles he got for Christmas, and I
helped him until he got bored and went to watch TV with Nicholas. Gail and I
continued the puzzle until dinner time. We had dinner (leftover
turkey, believe it or not), and then watched a TV show on UFOs, aliens and the
whole Roswell thing which we all enjoyed (though Gail said the boys were a little
freaked out later), and then I went to my friend Jeff’s place for an evening
of Texas Hold’em poker. The last time I played poker at Jeff’s I didn’t win a
single hand all night. This time I did win some hands (some with fairly big pots)
and I came 4th out of 9 people, so I was pretty happy with that.

It wasn’t a great day because we got a lot done, or because of any one
event, or because the meal was great, or anything like that. It just seemed
like the perfect family day — the boys had fun doing things by themselves,
with each other, and with us, and we had fun doing stuff with them as well. There
was a minimum of fighting, squealing, and yelling (though with our boys, some of
that is inevitable), nobody got sent to their room, nobody had to go to bed
early because they weren’t behaving, it was just a great day all around. The
Perfect Day.

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