It was Christmas all over again here at the Kimball household, as it was the day we had set aside for Borya and Julia to open their Christmas gifts. We honestly didn't know what to expect in terms of their reactions to all the attention and the presents. I had several scenarios of how it could possibly play out running through my head, none of which ended up as reality.
When they saw the tree with the gifts underneath, and two shiny bikes beside, they didn't really react. They just kind of looked at each other and all around, probably not realizing that all of that was for them. We had them sit down and then the kids brought them their stockings. Borya just looked at his and put it on the sofa next to him, with his back to the tree and not much expression on his face. We had to gesture several times for him to understand that he was to open the gifts within, and take out the candy and things. That everything in the stocking was for him. He slowly worked his way through it, but still his expression was changing only incrementally. Julia was a little quicker, it seemed, to grasp the concept, and had a good time reaching in for the next thing and placing each of the gifts in a box.
Stocking dissection complete, the kids took turns bringing Borya and Julia their gifts from under the tree. Though some of the gifts were more practical like the Eagles shirt for Borya (a must-have 'round these parts), plush pink robe, slippers and PJs for Julia, backpacks with school supplies, etc, most of it was fun stuff. For Borya, a remote-controlled car, a pair of Nerf guns, a huge disgusting remote-controlled spider, a few other things, and his big-ticket item Nintendo DS and a couple games to go with it. For Julia, a baby doll and stroller, a couple pretty outfits, a play cell phone, a teddy bear, few other things, and her big-ticket of a digital camera. As they opened the gifts and realized that they were for them, their reactions began to change. Where they initially opened the wrapping very gingerly, by the end they were ripping the paper and letting the tissues and ribbons fly. Smiles would spread across their faces, even Borya's, as they saw the contents of the next bag or box.
Now, a couple hours later, Borya is running around the house in a manic Nerf Gun fight to the death with Patrick. He is smiling broadly, and even occassionally laughing (don't tell him I told you). He is hiding behind doorways and jumping out in ambush. Julia is walking around like a movie star in her pink robe and slippers and playing with her doll, taking the occasional call on her cell phone . Though they were clueless when Christmas morning dawned, they now seem to have become quite expert at being kids. They're quick studies.