Tyson and I hit the jackpot of family unity when it comes to Christmas. His family celebrates on Christmas Eve, and my family always does Christmas day. So... we get to be with both of them EVERY YEAR! Its so cool that we can make everyone happy (including us!).
Christmas eve, we got all dressed up and went to church of course. Ann got the kids the most adorable Christmas outfits. I want to dress them up like this every single day.
After church we had an amazing feast at Grammie and Papa Joe's house with Auntie Mary (who flew in all the way from Washington, w00t!), Uncle Gary and cousin Jack, Grandma Violet (who now lives nice and close by!), and Uncle Ryan. It was a nice crowd, and we all ate wayyyy too much of course.
The kids got their traditional new Christmas jammies and a few other treasures from everyone that they were SO happy with.
It was after 9pm by the time we got home to put the food out on the lawn for the reindeer. And freeeeeeeezing cold~!
I had promised the kids we would move their mattresses out in the living room to sleep under the Christmas tree so we could try to catch Santa in the act... I was kind of afraid that it might be hard to fall asleep with all the sugar/Christmas adrenaline coursing thru their tiny veins... but they were snoring in a matter of minutes!
Can't you practically SEE the visions of sugar plums dancing in their beautiful blond heads? I could just eat them up. But instead... I ate Santa's cookies. Heh.
The kids had the most simple lists for Santa. They didn't ask for big ticket items at all (and its a good thing, too!). Dawson wanted a nutcracker that can crack real nuts, a 'lava fire cap gun' (which is exactly like a regular cap gun, in case you're wondering), a snowman, and a thing you can look thru and play Star Wars games. As I mentioned before, we aren't ready for him to have a handheld video game just yet... but Santa DID manage to discover the "Leapster," for a fraction of the cost, and the games are all educationally geared toward math and reading. He couldnt be happier with it, he is already a pro!
Anabelle asked for jammies, and princess dollies, and princess dresses. If you know her, you know this child does NOT need new dress up clothes. Lucky for Santa, again, he found a COMPLETE BARGAIN on an entire set of all the princess dresses that came with the shoes, a purse, and an assortment of 'bling' for $20. Score!
We heard some scurrying around in the living room and rolled over to look at the clock that read a big.fat.4:59am on Christmas morning. Anabelle had gotten up to go potty, I thought FOR SURE she would go back to sleep but once she realized she was among new loot that had found its way into the house, it was all over. She acted SO confused... "Mom! Why is this stuff here? Did you put it here?" I tried to convince her to go back to bed, and she said "NO! I'm waiting up for Santa!..." who of course had already come and gone... she eventually figured it out, and the kids had SO much fun opening their stockings full of band aids, mittens, and all kinds of other practical things. They are SO easy to please, it was heavenly.
When the rest of the world started to stir and the sun had partially risen, we headed down to my parent's for another gift-fest. Im in LOVE with this picture of Kyle on Santa, I mean my Dad's lap. Good to know kids still like a good Christmas snuggle at 15!
Everyone did SUCH a great job shopping this year with not going too overboard. The kids each got thoughtful things they were SO happy with, it was not an overwhelming amount at all. KJ and Jess got them ADORABLE disney jammies they try to force me to wash every day so they can wear them all the time.
And Anabelle's favorite I think would have to be her creepy Snow White doll, which was WAY overpriced (so Santa tells us), so its nice to see her getting some use out of it. My only complaint... on ffffrreeeeezzzzing cold Christmas morning when we headed out to my Mom and Dad's I told Anabelle walks out of her room "all ready to go!," in her new princess dress... with nothing underneath. Usually our dress up rule is that the dress up clothes go on OVER your regular clothes, but Anabelle has a new argument for this case: if baby Snow White's mommy lets her show HER panties with HER dress, Anabelle should be able to match..."
Hmmm. This is going to be an uphill battle, I can already tell. But mark my words, it will be fought...
After presents at my parent's, KJ and my Mom and I headed out for our Christmas day run/jog. Not gonna lie, it hurt. Must be all that Egg Nog french toast we've been enjoying....
Which is exactly what we had for a nice Christmas Day brunch back here at home when we got back. Delish.
Christmas afternoon, we took the kids to see The Princess and the Frog... which I wouldn't recommend for little kids, but it was still a fun outing. We were SO tired by the time we got home (remember, 4:59am!), so we fed the kids, put them to bed, and were in bed watching Christmas movies ourselves at 6:30pm!
I am so thankful for 2 amazing families that Tyson and I have, and for the beautiful children we have together. The holidays have started to seem so overwhelming the last couple years as time is going by faster and faster, and it seems impossible to fit it all in and make everyone happy. But this year, it felt like we got to do a little bit of it all, and still have time to enjoy ourselves and our loved ones. Maybe we have the recession in part to thank for that... a little less money but a lot more time. So incredibly worth the trade.
Hope you all enjoyed a great holiday as well.
Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace and goodwill toward men.