I've come to understand that about ninety percent of the faces my children make in photographs are put on for the camera's sake and little other reason -- and no where was this more obvious than in my recent set of Christmas day photographs. 

Please to observe:

I call this one The "Oversold Elation"

The "Exaggerated Bewilderment"

The "I Already Got a Mouthful of Candy Can't Be Bothered to Pose for You Now"

The "Clasping Hands in Quiet Devotion"

The "Unbridled Excitation"

The "Cannot Contain My Love for This Item"

The "Shock and Awe"

The "I Can't Believe My Sister is So Thoughtful"

The "Dual Delight"

The "Quiet Reflection of Joy"
(alternate title if you know what she's holding:
The "Momma's Gonna Regret this Later")

And now here's a word to the wise for those considering getting those kinds of presents where it's not really a corporeal thing, but rather an activity for them to do later.  The Dormouse has wanted to take skating lessons for a long time.  Then after her misguided attempt at Rockefeller Center when we thought that would put her off skating forever and then she still wanted to take skating lessons, we decided that would make a good Christmas present.  But when you get a kid a gift where there's not really a Thing In A Box (using every ounce of self-control to not link to this video - oh... wait... woops), you have to be creative about giving them some tangible thing to open.  And then you have to be patient while they figure it out.

The "I Don't Really Get this Conceptual Present So I'm Not Quite Sure How to React Yet"

The "Dawnlight Breaks on Marblehead"
The "Ooooh.... NOW I Get It"

The Caterpillar has shown quite a unique ability for dance and movement lately and we've been saying we should put her in dance lessons for ages now.  Recently, she came to me despondent, saying "I'm never gonna be in a dance class, am I?" So dance lessons was her big present this year.  But that one was a bit harder to get her to understand.

The "Oh I Get It, You Got Me a Dress"

The "Stare Patiently While Daddy Says No and Tries Once More To Explain"

And then....

"Enthusiastic Gratitude"

"Unconstrained Passion"

It might have been a slow burn, but it was totally worth it.