northpoleWe celebrated Christmas today with my side of the family since Adam and I will be in the UK for Christmas this year. I had a terrific, packed day. We agreed a while back to meet in Manhattan for a day of Christmas activities. It started at 9 this morning, and we packed it in until Adam and I got back home a little after 5.

Adam, my mom, my brother, my niece, and I went to see the “real” Santa at Macy’s on 34th St. I have to say we timed it perfectly. We were out of there by 9:30, and the lines were packed by the time we were done. Earlier is definitely better.

sweetiepieThis was Grace’s first visit to Santa (she’s 2), and she was NOT happy. Santa looked incredible, the best Santa I’ve ever seen, but she wanted nothing to do with him. My brother and I got in the picture with her, and I still loved every minute of it. I should have asked him for those Kate Spade mittens. But Grace just wasn’t that into Santa. The photos are great, though, and someday she’ll come around.

lunchatsweetiepieAfter braving the Toys ‘R Us in Times Square for a little while we went to lunch at the coolest little spot in the Village, Sweetiepie (2nd photo). Grace enjoyed herself and the grownups were happy, too. I found that place through Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP newsletter, which I subscribe to. It was a perfect place for little kids AND adults, with a fun menu (great mac ‘n cheese, burgers, risotto, silver dollar pancakes, banana splits), giant lollipops (Grace was mesmerized by them), and just a great laid back feeling. I planned most of the festivities for today, and I wanted to go for lunch away from the tourist throngs in case we were all a little frazzled after Santa. But it still had to be super kid friendly, and this spot was perfect. My mom in particular loved it. Thanks for treating us all, Mom!

gracegroceriesAfter that it was back to my mom’s to exchange presents. Grace is obsessed with Mickey Mouse, so I gave her a stuffed Christmas Mickey to hold on the line for Santa. At my mom’s I gave her this awesome grocery bag full of felt groceries from Earlyears. She loved it, and no one else was allowed to touch it.

We gave my brother an Affliction t-shirt. He asked for one and told me he likes black or grey, and he likes the ones with crosses. It took me weeks to narrow it down to this one, and I’m glad he was happy with it.

We all pitched in to get my mom a much-needed GPS for her car. Adam got DJ Hero and a new fancy hard drive that I can’t begin to explain, but both are things he really wanted. He was thrilled.

My brother gave me a gift certificate to my favorite spa, so he’s on the Nice List. And my mom surprised me with a super cool gift. She gave me the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living, and taped into 10 or 12 pages were scratch offs and gift cards to my favorite stores. She knows me so well, shopping is my favorite hobby. So I’m set with some little shopping sprees well into the new year. It was just such a cool idea!

Then the men set up the Wii my mom bought a while back, and Grace went to town with it.

It was really a wonderful day, I couldn’t ask for a better Christmas with my family. Apologies for boring anyone with such a detailed account of what I did today, but when it’s a good day like this you’ve got to write it down.