Obviously there are more chins than people in that photo, so not all of us were happy, but that aside, we managed to get through Christmas Day without too many tears, breakdowns and punch-ups. Here's Toby showing his heartfelt appreciation for our generosity by politely requesting another gift...
Having opened them all, and left wrapping paper everywhere, he then looked around at the living room floor and said "Mess". Before expecting us to clear it all up.
But to be honest, they did seem to like their presents. For a while, at least. Amongst Amelie's 'Most Wanted' this year was the big-eared character on the right...
That's a Furby Boom, a delightful (and surprisingly pricey) creation which has been carefully designed to annoy adults and give small children hideous nightmares. Its drawbacks are perfectly highlighted by this blog post, which I discovered last night after a brief Google search that I carried out whilst comforting Amelie at the computer and trying to reassure her that despite all impressions to the contrary, her Furby probably wouldn't kill her the moment she got within three feet of it.
Fortunately she cheered up and calmed down enough to go to bed, and we had twenty enjoyable minutes of blissful peace and quiet before she got up in tears, convinced that an army of angry Furbies was coming to get her in the darkness. Furby actually spent the night on a shelf by the front door, which is as close to being out with the rubbish as I could bear for something which had just cost me more than forty quid.
We might have paid for our lack of due diligence where Furby Boom is concerned, but fortunately we had more luck with an impulse buy I made down at the marina last weekend. Despite being aimed at kids aged 6 and above, I saw this remote control car for under a tenner, and picked it up for Toby...
He spent most of the afternoon trying to run over his sister, and refusing to let anyone else drive. He's like a two-year-old Jeremy Clarkson.
But the real star this Christmas, the saviour, the bringer of joy, elf and happiness, has been my deer wife, Lisa. There's snow one like her. Starting a new job in November has changed my life in numerous ways, and meant that Christmas has dropped way down my To-Do list, just below hiring new staff, ordering an OCT machine, and buying a dozen new computers. I've been out for 12 hours a day, busy most weekends, and working right up to Christmas Eve. Which means that Lisa has been left holding the baby Jesus.
But rather than forgetting Christmas this year (which, let's face it, I have), Lisa has single-handedly ordered all the presents, written all the cards, and liaised with my family about our festive arrangements. The fact that any of my relatives are getting gifts this year is entirely down to her. My only contribution was to visit Santa and ask him to pay for it all.
Lisa's done all of this whilst wrangling an over-excited six-year-old and a toddler who's putting the deafening "ERR!!!" into 'Terrible Twos' for thirteen hours a day. And she hasn't once complained. Possibly because she's too exhausted. The happy smiles on those kids' faces, and the fact that I've still had a Christmas to enjoy this year, is all thanks to my beautiful wife. She's done an amazing job, and I love her more than words can say. In fact, I regret not buying her a present now.