The boys didn't get up until after 6am on Christmas Day - a record for recent years. They got into their stockings, upended them and dealt with the contents pretty quickly. By 8am they had already reverted to building pyramids from mah jongg tiles.
Marcus was given a couple of different electronic sets. One of them required someone to wrap about a quarter mile of copper wire around a cardboard toilet roll in a very precise way, to ultimately produce a "radio". The toilet roll needs to be grounded on a metal pipe or wire fence, and the electronics buff then has to squat beside the pipe/fence as the supplied earphone, attached to the toilet roll, has a very short wire. While the kids played elsewhere and their tinkling laughter drifted on the breeze, a succession of adults wrestled with coils of wire and sweated, angrily.
Pictured below is the other electronics set. The boys can just click the various components together in different configurations for instant circuit-based gratification.
The other main Christmas action: Marcus received a pair of tennis rackets, and Michael a scooter. We have been down to the local tennis court to try out both - my phenomenal footspeed seems to have deserted me since last time I played. Michael's scooter is one of those tiny fold-up Razor types with very thin solid wheels. We hoped he'd have hours of fun out on the deck with it, but it turns out the wheels stick between the planks.
Mum and Dad are here for Christmas, and seem to be enjoying drifiting about with us with no particular plans. They gave me a fantastic book, The Great War by Les Carlyon. It is roughly the size of a loaf of bread. I have just started it and will possibly reach the Armistice in time for Armistice Day in November.