They're good kids.
We had the pep talk - not too heavy - about appropriate gift receiving behaviour. Reminders about thank yous and subtly-handled disappointments, about avoiding comparative analysis of received gifts and the definition of compromise (you know, that thing where no one is happy?).
They're the only children at both our annual family Christmas gatherings. Christmas without cousins is weird for me. But they are surrounded by adoring aunts and uncles - adults who are happy to spend time with them and listen and play - there is something kind of wonderful about that.
Stella is so independent now. She takes herself off when the adults get boring. Makes up her own games and rituals wherever she goes, claims her space. She has the sweetest thank-you, and she's generous with it. She spontaneously hugged a couple of relatives who'd she only smiled at shyly last year. She wore a pink floor-length princess dress of Christmas day.
The length is note-worthy as she also wore no knickers.
She seems to currently be a Fruitarian.
Her favourite presents: a soft toy tiger, the robo-puppy above who is already driving us all mental with his barking, a volcano kit (the mould is setting as I write this) and a 361 part Lego Technic set.
She aced the set in about 6 hours over 24 (starting on Christmas night and completing it at about 3pm this afternoon). It is recommended for ages 9-16.
Charl sat with her, supervising gently, but she placed 95% of the bricks, 'reading' the instructions herself for every step.
Frieda read the whole of that book today. She's also read most of her new recipe book, Comfort, and made us a couple of simple dishes. She's been watching Jamie Oliver and Nigel Slater at my Mum's house and the recipe book, plus some fun dessert glasses proved to be a well-received Christmas present.
She entertained the crowd (us, my parents, a few close family friends) on Christmas Eve with her no hands pants routine (she's pretty good!) and was just hilarious.
Yesterday, as my sister-in-law put her famous Christmas dessert on the table, Frieda grinned and mouthed to me across the table; 'There's layers to this shit player, Tiramisu, Tiramisu' - she cracked me up. We do love this video too much at the moment, but it's got some sass ....
My sister-in-law does Christmas very prettily (and her tiramisu is gorgeous).
As are my girls. And Christmas. And holidays.