Toy Opening Story

Gizmo ClausChristmas Eve was pretty jam-packed here at ye olde Greenhaus. As expected, my wife had to work all day, but this didn’t mean the boys were sitting around the house all day. After eating (and watching The Polar Express), it was time to make one last pre-Christmas run to the PO box, and then swing by the store to pick up a few necessities that couldn’t wait for the stores to open up again on Monday or Tuesday, namely kitty litter. As it turned out, we also had to visit the tire center at Wal-Mart because I had a tire that was almost completely flat when we set foot outside the house this morning. Sheesh. Nothing like relaxing on Christmas Eve, is there? And trust me, this was nothing like relaxing on Christmas Eve.

Since we were already at Wal-Mart, I grabbed the other stuff there while waiting on the car (though in a rare Christmas miracle, we were the only vehicle there – wow! – so we only had about 15 minutes to veer randomly through the strangely empty store), and we went from there to the post office to check the PO box. In another rare occurrence, it was nothing but Christmas cards. I got to see my niece’s new little sister for the first time in the annual Christmas photos from that part of the family, and whether by coincidence or cahoots, two of my friends from New Mexico sent me Star Trek scratcher cards from the NM lottery – truly something I would never think to buy for myself – along with a Hastings gift card. (If, on the other hand, I win, I’ll gladly take the lottery’s money. ๐Ÿ˜† Sorry, my high horse is over in the pasture eating apples tonight.) I’d also gotten an Amazon gift card from another friend, and a huge box from “Uah Uah!” in Ohio (the mystery fiddygibber has since identified himself) with a mint-in-box Star Trek Micro Machines box set inside – the same one I’d gotten at some point in the ’90s, of which I’d lost a few. Overall, this is the Trekkiest Christmas I’ve had in years. ๐Ÿ˜†

Now the gift cards are kind of important, and in a way that’s why I was really visiting the post office. No, not to see if anyone had sent me stuff, but to see if something that I’d ordered for my wife with the Amazon card had ever shown up. The Amazon marketplace seller of that particular item shipped my wife’s item from within the US via DHL instead of just using our own domestic postal service. I don’t know if this person missed the news, but DHL doesn’t have a hub in the States anymore (and, for all of the seller’s protestations that he’s merely switched shipping services “before the postal service goes bankrupt”, he seems blissfully unaware that DHL tenders its packages to the USPS for the last leg of the journey anyway). So: pointlessly routing a packaging with a US origin and a US destination through Germany? Check. Epic “gift completely missing delivery date by Christmas” fail? Check. Yay.

With Hastings card in hand, Little E and I set off to Fort Smith to grab some more goodies for Mom, so she would have something under the tree. (They had two new David Weber/Honor Harrington books that she hadn’t gotten yet, which fit the bill nicely.) And of course, while at Hastings, Little E’s eyes got bigger than his stomach. He found a stuffed clownfish which he promptly named Nemo, and since it was on markdown, I grudgingly said “okay…”; then on the way out, he passed some little Mario mushroom candy tin thingies and wanted one of those. I agreed to that solely on the grounds that his Mario buddies he’s gonna open tomorrow will need a mushroom (and not one that’s ten times bigger than they are); he’ll figure it out in about 10 hours or so. (Don’t ask me what Doctor Who goodies I snagged – I didn’t even have time to look, man!) We raced home, wrapped the books, and the little guy took a nap with “Nemo”, kicking off “Pixar All-Star Christmas Weekend.” ๐Ÿ˜†

Once the Mrs. came home, we had an immediate problem: an Oberon escape attempt.


ObiFortunately, as she often is, Gabby was on the case and didn’t let him get far. But since it’s rained fairly recently, Obi still had ample opportunity to get himself thoroughly muddy. Just look at those paws. The big goober. As usual Gabby brought the little escape artist back, safe and sound. Some dogs are golden retrievers, some are Labrador retrievers, and some like Gabby are goober kitty retrievers.

With the big goober kitty safely inside and cleaning his muddy paws, we did a little mini-Rankin-Bass-marathon in the living room (WiiMC for the winagain!) and, after Little E started getting restless, we did the annual tradition of opening one present each. The Mrs. liked her new books, and I really liked getting some new underwear that wasn’t threadbare (don’t worry, I’m not gonna post pictures of that – suffice to say, I was impressed that she found any skivvies for me in size Big McLargehuge – and no, that’s not meant to be some kind of metaphor, it just means I’m fat). Once upon a time I would’ve been slapping my forehead and going “underwear!?” I must be getting old – I was really jazzed to be getting new underwear. ๐Ÿ˜†

And the little guy? He took a good long look at all of his wrapped packages under the tree (including a few that have been added since the last inventory on the blog) and – smart little guy that he is – picked the biggest one to open.

Unwrapping Christmas presents

In years past, Little E would be just a Little OCD and would practically try to dissect gift wrap so cleanly, you’d think he was gonna reuse it for something. (Don’t worry, little dude, we got toilet paper at the store today!) But now? Now he gets it.

Unwrapping Christmas presents

With Woody, Buzz and friends extricated from their packaging (which, I had to note, featured absolutely no twisties, whereas the average single-pack Doctor Who action figure has something like six), Little E wolfed down a little blueberry bread and then retired to bed, new buddies in hand. He totally forgot the new mushroom. Heh. Last time I peeked into his room to remind him he needed to get to sleep soon, Woody was riding Bullseye and Buzz was riding Nemo. Bet you never saw that Pixar team-up coming.

I had to keep myself from a big belly laugh listening at his door:
“I’ll get you, Buzz! AH HA HA!”
“No you won’t! AH HA HA!”

Then Mom turned in for the night, with catgirls snoozing all around her. The doggies were already in and happily asleep. Puck’s crashed out on the sofa. And if there are any mice stirring… well, they probably have free run of the place, because Obi’s crashed out in a pile of clothes waiting to be washed.


Merry Christmas, all. More adventures and pictures tomorrow.

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