December 25, 2018: First VR Christmas

The kids were up pretty early this morning. Well before eight. They had all slept in Madeline’s room last night, so I suspect when one woke up, they all woke up. So we did not get any time to sleep in today.

Breakfast was prepped, but saved for later in the morning. And we were off to the races.

This year was all about unicorns for Liesl and art supplies for Luciana. Liesl’s main request this year was unicorn decorations for her bedroom. And Luciana wanted Legos and painting stuff. They both got loads and loads. It was a great Christmas for them. They are so excited.

Luciana got a poopsie slime kit that she is super excited about. Liesl got some choose your own adventure books. She said that this is the most excited about reading that she has ever been.

Dominica got a Golden Girls board game. Such a funny thing, but it is so her and she loves it. Dominica got me a whiskey barrel for the home bar and made me some slippers (I knew that she was making those, she had asked if I had wanted them a month ago.)

For lunch we had the new tradition (this is year two) of a blueberry cream cheese casserole thing that is so delicious. This year’s was better than last years. We hypothesize that this was because the blueberries were fresh last year, and frozen this year.

Paul got the family an Oculus Go VR headset. The girls are super excited about that. They have both been asking for VR stuff for two years now.

Dominica’s parents gave Paul a bottle of Scotch for Christmas. So we opened that and all had a glass while opening presents. Emily tried a sip and had to run to the kitchen to wash out her mouth. Not her kind of thing. Madeline didn’t like whiskey either when she had it in the UK with Dominica over the summer.

Both girls got Harry Potter wands that are really nice. They come from a random set, so you don’t know what you are going to get. Luciana got Neville Longbottom’s wand. Liesl got Hermione Granger’s. They love them.

Both girls got makeup, too. Liesl got the boardgame Clue, which she loves. She had asked for that. She also got Sorry which, surprisingly, I have never played. I’m not sure how it is played. The girls got phone holders meant for using while laying in bed. Luciana is especially excited about that.

Both girls got new Amazon Kindle Fire 10 HDs for Christmas, too, with expansion SD cards too. Their iPads are getting really old. The older iPad was already “not new” when we were in Spain when the oldest one died, and the “newer” one is roughly as old as the older one but was a hand me down. And their original Kindle Fires were little and first generation and didn’t work very well. These have more power, more battery, and a lot more things fixed. They are quite excited to finally have new tablets and so much more storage than before. We are amazed at how well their iPads have held up to years of continuous abuse and loads of international travel, but they are just getting so old at this point.

This year the girls made gifts for everyone. Luciana painted artwork of our initials for everyone. They are really awesome. Liesl made different things. For me, a “Best Dad Ever” coffee mug with a fox on it in orange (my favourite animal and colour.) For Dominica she made a ring holder to go on the side of the bed.

I posted 116 pictures of the Christmas process to Flickr.

We had to take a break in the middle of the afternoon because Joe had to work today and can’t join us until tonight. So some stuff is being saved for another round of presents in the late evening.

We did Christmas dinner. My big project was setting up the Oculus Go. Everyone wanted to try it so that was a major project. It took an hour or two to get it configured, charged, and some content loaded onto it. From what I can tell, it is really cool and works really well. The 360 degree film option is really cool.

We had to go through everyone one by one testing it out. Liesl and Luciana were up first. It worked really well for them, this will be a hit. All of the kids liked it, even Emily who doesn’t like video games. Francesca was able to use it without getting sick. Garrett, too, who has gotten sick from trying cheaper VR headsets in the past (and why no one got any last year, because of that test.) Even Dominica’s dad was able to use it without a problem.

It took two rounds of charging for everyone to have a chance to use the Oculus Go.

The Toccos came over and we opened more presents.

Paul definitely got to experience the Tocco Christmas. Too bad this was such a “small” year, I’m not sure that he believes us that this was small. This is not something that you can really explain to someone without them getting to watch it themselves first hand. Paul is the first “outsider” to see it since I joined long ago!

The last thing before bed was a game of Clue with Liesl, Garrett, Clara, and Madeline. Wehad fun, but it was late and I needed to get to bed. I have an early day of doing work tomorrow. My alarm is set for five in the morning.