For the last sixteen years, we have normally split Christmas with Kelsi to Christmas Eve for Dad, and Christmas Day for Mom. This has worked out very well for us over the years.
This year was a little different. Kelsi is involved in marching band and her schedule is impacted by football and basketball games that she has to play at. We also, over the past 5 years or so, have lived about an hour away from each other, which makes drive time an issue for both Mom and Dad.
One thing I never realized until Kelsi started band is that the schools are on completely different break schedules. This isn’t too much of an issue until Kelsi goes on break – which she normally spends about a week with us. This year, the difference in breaks caused her to have a game during her Christmas break that she had to go home early for – so we celebrated with Kelsi on the 22nd, exchanging gifts with her.
I would be really interested in the statistics around kids who actually live with both of their parents these days. It seems to me that most of the kids that I run into are children of divorced parents. Schools should really look at that, as the scheduling that goes on makes it really difficult for these kids to spend time with their non custodial parents (especially when they live an hour away).
But I digress …
Our family has reached one of those really interesting stages where everyone is very hard to buy for. We all pretty much have the things we “need” and we don’t really have a lot of wants that are practical enough for Christmas presents, so many of this years gifts were cool ones that addressed things that each of us like, but nothing fancy. The highlight for me was getting a framed picture from Kelsi of one of her entries for her photography class. I can’t tell you how cool it is to get a gift from your child that is actually the fruit of a class where they are doing something they really love. The picture is of a church in Chicago (you can see it on her Flickr page).
She also picked up a book for me called Quintessential Tarantino: The films of Quentin Tarantino by Edwin Page. I’ve been a Tarantino fan for years, so a gift like this was something that hit a total sweet spot for me. The book explains Tarantinos work and highlights the methods he uses in his writing and directing. It also highlights the many similar vehicles he uses across movies that link them up. Very cool gift.
The boys received DVD sets of their favorite shows, along with a couple of vinyl albums for Jacob, who along with Kelsi for some reason prefers albums over MP3s. Go figure!
Kelsi received the following from Jonna and Dad for her combined Birthday / Christmas gifts:
- Socks – she needs these as she’s always wearing unmatching ones
- An Andy Warhol 365 Takes: The Andy Warhol Museum Collection – Kelsi’s interest in photography has led her to a fascination with Warhols work. As far as we can tell she loved it.
- My Secret: A PostSecret Book (Postsecret) by Frank Warren. She tried to explain what this was, but I spaced on it. Something about people who write their life secrets on a postcard or something. Bottom line is, she really wanted it.
- “Everything Under The Sun” (Sublime) – A box set that she’s been eyeing for quite some time.
- … and of course, a fine Alpine CDE-9852 Car Stereo, complete with iPod hookup for her car she received earlier this summer from her mom. Now all she needs is a license!
We’re entering into a weird stage in our lives. Our kids are getting older and have their own things going on. Even though we all just took an hour to exchange gifts on Friday, it was still a great time to have everyone together focused on giving to each other.
Of course, there are pictures available in the photo album.