“Why don’t you get the door and I’ll finish this.” she said, turning to AJ.
“Why can’t I finish them?”
“Um because I think we’d all like an edible breakfast.”
“So mean.” AJ replied, kissing her on the cheek. “You sure know how to hurt a guy.”
AJ left and returned a moment later with Denise.
“Merry Christmas sweetheart.” Denise hugged Kat and went to see her grandsons.
“Merry Christmas Denise. I hope you don’t mind pancakes for breakfast.”
“Not at all. Whatever we have is fine.”
The boys were able to control themselves enough to eat a couple of pancakes before they were practically climbing out of their highchairs to get at the presents. It took them an hour or so to open all of them and then AJ put them down for a nap before everyone got there.
Nick, Brenda, Aunt Gina, Mark, Michael and Chris came over around one and the boys had just woken up from their nap. They saw the gifts under the tree again and raced for them. Nick barely caught them before they started to tear at all the wrapping paper.
“Uh-uh you little monkeys!” Nick yelled as he scooped them up. “We eat then open presents.”
“Now you’re putting your eating in front of little kids opening presents?” Brenda asked. “Nice to know your priorities.”
“Hey! AJ asked me to grab them!” Nick said wrapping his arm around Brenda’s waist.
“Ooooooooo, Brenda’s got a boyfriend!” Chris shouted as he came into the kitchen with another load of presents.
“Shut up Chris!”
“Yeah shut up Chris!” Mark and Michael echoed in unison, mimicking Brenda.
“You know what? You two can….”
Nick covered her mouth with his hand. “There are kids present.”
Brenda bit his hand and he yelped. “Thanks for the heads up.”
“Ow! That was mean!”
“Well keep your hand off my mouth!”
AJ and Kat started to laugh. Brenda and Nick were so good together and it was a shame that they weren’t smartening up enough to notice.
Everyone sat down for dinner and, by the time they had finished, the guys had arrived with their wives and kids.
“Thanks for having all of us over.” Leigh hugged Kat. “I know it’s a lot of work.”
“Christmas wouldn’t be complete without all of you guys here. You’re family and it’s important for us all to be together.”
“You may regret saying that once these kids start tearing into those presents.” Howie said with a laugh.
AJ and the guys decided this year not to exchange gifts but buy things for all the kids to open together.
“I think Jake and Ryan are going to be on present overload.” Brian told AJ coming down the hallway. “I think I’m already on overload from this morning. Santa went a little crazy this year!”
“Yes he did!” Leighanne teased. “He didn’t have Mrs. Claus to rein him in. That Santa sure is sneaky.”
“It seems that Santa had the same problem at our house!” Kristen said glancing at Kevin. “Someone needs to babysit Santa!”
Kevin just shrugged his shoulders and brought his gifts over to the tree.
All the kids were waiting patiently by the tree but once everyone had said their hellos and settled themselves in, there was a wrapping paper tornado.
“I think we may have lost some kids in there!” Brian shouted. “Everyone still in one piece?”
“We’re good Dad!” Bailey replied. “I counted everyone!”
The adults laughed and waited for the paper to come down. The boys were showing each other their toys and completely lost in kid world. Surprisingly, Jake stood up and toddled his way through the paper towards Kat with something in his hand.
“What’s that sweetheart?”
Jake stuck his hand out and handed her a box. “From Dada.” he said and wandered back to the other kids.
Kat looked across the room and AJ smiled. She noticed that everyone was staring at her all of a sudden and when she opened the box, she felt like the air had gotten sucked out of the room.