Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Our Christmas Eve and Christmas

Our Christmas was so wonderful this weekend.  Honestly, I did a lot of planning for it.  I knew that this was the first year that the kids would “remember” Christmas, and I wanted it to be special.  I went so far as to plan our menu in advance with a spreadsheet telling me when to start what for each meal, and what things I wanted to be sure that we did over the Christmas weekend.  I doubt that the kids will really remember very much about the details in the end, but I think that they will remember that Christmas is a special time. 

We did a lot of traveling and going and doing leading up to Christmas, but we spent the entire, long four day weekend at home, together.  It was truly a fun, enjoyable weekend.  Friday morning started with breakfast and gifts with Auntie Ann.  Gary’s parents arrived Friday afternoon, followed by gifts and dinner (of taco soup, our traditional Christmas dinner with Gary’s parents).  Then Saturday morning, Green made his last appearance for this season.  As soon as I saw the living room, I knew what he’d done. . . .

DSC_9785 DSC_9787 That elf sure does love some popcorn and movies! 

DSC_9791 And the kids sure did love helping Green finish off his left over popcorn. . . .

DSC_9800Then later on Saturday morning (Christmas Eve), we decided to put together the gingerbread house that a friend so generously gave the kids for Christmas.


The end result was probably not the most aesthetically pleasing gingerbread house ever decorated, but the kids were ECSTATIC to build a house for the “gingerman” to live in.

DSC_9806Check out baby girl.  She would keep an eye out and as soon as she thought no one was looking, she’d snag something to eat.  Like ALL of the gumdrops, the chimney to the house, etc.  And this sneaky behavior is how she stayed on a sugar high the entire holiday.

DSC_9820On Saturday afternoon, after naptime, the big kids (mostly Henry and Rosemary) helped make some cookies for Santa.  The cookies of choice were oatmeal raisin (Gary’s preference) and chocolate chip (my preference).  The kids were great stirrers!


Ever since the kids’ first Christmas, every Christmas Eve night we have read The Night Before Christmas.  This year was no different.  It is one tradition upon which Gary insists.  This year, because Penelope was so ready to go to bed, we read the book while Rosemary was taking a breathing treatment. 

DSC_9833 DSC_9842{Piper was also without pajamas.  I made a big deal about how Santa visits when you wear your “Santa Pajamas,” which means we had to do a quick, emergency wash/dry with Piper’s pajamas after she spilled her dinner all over them. . . .}

DSC_9857After Penelope went to bed (the poor thing barely made it through the book), we left some of our freshly baked cookies out for Santa to eat when he stopped by our house.

DSC_9864DSC_9871The stockings were all hung and ready (except for that darned stocking of Piper’s that will NOT hang straight for anything) . . .

DSC_9875 . . . and the tree was lit and ready for some presents.

DSC_9892 And did we get some presents!!!  On Christmas Eve, Rosemary had (tearfully) announced that she wanted a “baby backpack” just like Auntie Ann gave Penelope.  She had never mentioned it before and never mentioned it again that day, but when we woke her up Christmas morning the first thing she said was that she wanted to see her baby backpack from Santa.  Whew, I am so glad that Santa heard that Christmas Eve request and came through with a baby backpack. . . .

DSC_9895 Everyone got some really great gifts from Santa!

DSC_9896 DSC_9897 DSC_9898 DSC_9900 DSC_9903 {Notice the television in the background, playing one of the best scenes from the best Christmas movie ever – according to me.}

DSC_9909Notably, Santa left the kids some very special cookies straight from the North Pole!!!  Until Christmas Eve when Rosemary announced that she wanted a “baby backpack,” the only thing that the kids had requested from Santa were cookies.  And if you pressed them for more details, they requested TWO cookies.  Santa left plenty of very special cookies:


I think I sort of expected the kids to go nuts when they saw what all Santa brought them.  Their reaction, however, was more of shock and awe and amazement.  I love how I can see the gears working in their little heads, and see how their little minds are wrapping around the idea that there really is a Santa, because how else did all those gifts get there?!!  I tear up just thinking about it.  The wonderment of children is truly one of the best parts of this holiday!

DSC_9915 DSC_9918{I never saw Penelope without a cookie and/or some candy.  She double-fisted sweets all day.  The kids would take a bite out of a cookie and drop it forgotten, and girlfriend was right there to pick it up and finish it off.}

DSC_9929 DSC_9933

Nana, Papa, and Aunt Jack visited us on Christmas for lunch to see what all Santa brought.  I really should have more photos, but I stopped taking them at some point.  I enjoyed myself so much that I wanted to be in the moment more than I wanted to be documenting it in photos.  Whatever I had hoped that Christmas would be this year, it was that much and more.  Magical and fun and amazing. 


Teej said...

Such a sweet post, and such a cute family. I love how they asked for cookies from Santa.

Esther said...

Beautiful Christmas!

This is so all-over-the-place:
1. Piper's got some long thigh bones--good for her!
2. Love the PJs--Hanna Andersson?
3. That's how my boys are, too--they never finish a cookie, or a sweet treat that most kids would eat in a second.

Heather said...

Thanks Teej and Esther! And Esther, yes Hanna Andersson!! I finally splurged when I realized that we are in 3 different sizes and can do hand-me-downs each year so after this year I only have to buy one or maybe two sets! :)