It's hard to live up to an impossibly idyllic rendition of The Family Christmas. A thousand unknowns can torpedo any get together, and when you mix Christmas cookies, toys and really tired children, you can be sure there will be tears in under an hour.
This year, I'm happy to report, the kids did us proud. They behaved. They played well together. They said please and thank you. They seemed really happy with all their presents, and there was no shouting, crying or pouting, despite the fact that the 2006 naughty and nice list is now fully into play.
Food was good. Family was good. Kids were good. The various fluffy beasts were good. Presents were good. Even the holiday aftermath mess was tolerable, which is saying a lot.
Of course, today was only Phase A. Tomorrow begins Phase B, which involves the loser having to drive through all of Ohio, dealing with the Pennsylvania toll roads and the infamous Washington D.C. traffic. It might not sound like any fun at all, but the thought of ten hours in the car with no other messes or deadlines staring at me sounds like heaven on earth to this loser.