I am not sure if this happens in every family, but my family tends to devolve into greedy and ungrateful little monsters over the Holiday season. It has something to do with the anticipation of gifts and the disappointment with the reality of gifts. As we all know, NO GIFT WILL EVER LIVE UP TO THE EXPECTATION OF A CHILD.
Our best move is to open gifts and then immediately leave for a vacation. All the gifts sit in the house untouched while we're gone, and then when we return, they are suddenly fun to play with. I don't get it but it works.
Even with these great strategies, by about the middle of January we had ground to a halt -- there's no sun, it was freeeezing cold outside, everyone was grouchy and we were all mad at each other for every and no reason...
Then we had a bit of magic. Oddly enough it came in the form of tickling. Both boys decided that they liked to be tickled, and we started having these half-hour long tickling matches, where we all poked each other in the bellies and brushed the soles of our feet and of course jammed tiny fingers into the armpits.
The sound of their laughter, real belly laughs, was like medicine for the family. They heard us laugh, they laughed with each other, and the sound healed us.We bonded over the laughter.
Since the laughing, we are doing so well. We are all friendlier with each other and there's less competition for attention from the boys, they each know they can come over for a welcome laughing match and we all grow together.
Note to self: Laughing. Remember that.