It is 48 hours since we opened our gifts on Christmas morning. And I'm very aware of how different my Christmas has become.
A few years back, much of Christmas day and the days following would have been filled with assembling toys, helping kids figure out how to use toys, putting stickers and decals on toys, and playing with the kids and their toys.
Now, 48 hours since they opened their gifts, and the only times I've seen the kids have been at meals.
Son20, gleeful over two new games for his Xbox, has barely left his room. I'm sure there is some carpel tunnel stuff going on with that game controller. He has his headphone on, talking with other players around the globe, and barely aware of anything else. Oh sure, he has invited both siblings in to watch and to play. And he even told us how awesome the games were. But other than that, he hasn't been visible.
Son17 got a portable DVD player and some DVD's to watch. Other than checking with us about how to recharge the battery, we haven't talked with him much. For a while he sat in the same room with his headphones on and giggled at The Simpson's Christmas...but eventually we sent him to a different room so we could talk over the laughter.
And Daughter14...got a new iPod. She has shown up for meals...with her ear buds firmly in place. Other than that, it is as if she were abducted by aliens.
And don't get me wrong...our kids got other things. Books, clothes, etc. Things they had requested. But the electronic gadgetry was shining so brightly that those other items got lost in the glow.
Do I miss spending time putting together things? Playing with things? Swearing at the things that don't go together easily? Sure. I miss those days. But it sure feels more relaxing this way. And it even means I get to pay attention to my gifts! That never happened when the kids were young!