It happens every year that I do my best to keep up with my blog posts all month long, and I do pretty well until the last week and then I'm done for. There's no way I can celebrate Christmas and write about it too, and that's how it should be. But I always find myself trying to remember it all a week later. I'm so exhausted - mostly in a good way - I do love Christmas and we had a lot of wonderful times. But it's hard too to have the kids home and over excited for so many days in a row. No one should talk to me about summer vacation right now.
So let's see - where did I leave off? I think I need to report first on Christmas Eve. We were lucky enough to do something completely new and different this year - we've never celebrated Christmas ON Christmas with a member of Troy's family before - we always have a big family gathering the Saturday after Christmas. But this year we found ourselves with no plans on Christmas Eve, plus we knew my brother-in-law Sam and his wife wouldn't be with her family like they usually are. So we decided to spend the evening together. I'm so glad we did. In some ways we thought that it might have been fun to have a quiet evening at home with just us, but in my mind that would be happening after a long day of sledding and playing in the snow. I don't think we've ever had such a green Christmas before. Not a flake of snow in sight for days and days. So we had already had a long day at home and I was so glad to head out that evening.
Kathleen, my sis-in-law, really worked hard to deck out her house with Christmas cheer - it looked so great. We had a wonderful time - we ate soup and yummy appetizers, we played games and made cookies. Curtis, their oldest kid, spent the evening wearing his pajamas, trying to get us all to be quiet so he could go to sleep. That was funny. The 12 year old insisting he was exhausted so he could sleep. Anyway, it was a fun night and a great way to spend Christmas Eve.
On Christmas morning the girls slept in just great. Until 7:00 or so. This is only considered late because their older brother had already been up twice. Stomper apparently got Troy up at 4:00 but was convinced to go back to sleep. It wasn't until 5:00 that I felt someone grab my finger and start waggling it until I woke up just enough to send him back to bed again. So yes, I'd say getting him to wait until 7:00 was pretty good. Then we had a lovely morning opening gifts, watching Bundle get excited about getting "a baby named Niney," which she has been telling us for a month that Santa would bring her. Stomper was excited about the additions to his lego collection and Bitty was greatly blessed in the Playmobile department. So basically about 1000 new little tiny plastic objects were brought into our house. Yahoo. Actually the kids have been thrilled with their gifts and have played with them constantly, so that's a good sign.
I myself was blessed in the footwear department as I received the most beautiful pair of boots known to man. They've been on my wish list for a very long time and my husband was very nice to insist that we get the real pair I really wanted instead of a cheaper pair that looked a lot like them. They've hardly left my feet since.
I also would like to claim a victory. Troy and I decided long ago that a surprise is not what he wants for Christmas. What he wants is getting something that he really wants, and that always means that he has already carefully decided what that is. I gave up on surprising him long ago. However, this year, I finally did it. He doesn't have anything hanging on the walls of his cube at work and he spends a lot of time at home looking at pictures of his children and family. So I made him these collages of the best pictures of his kids and framed them. He had no idea. I know it's just a simple little gift, but when he opened them he was delighted to the point of tears. I finally did it!
After some awesome breakfast of sausage and eggs we got ourselves together and headed off to church. Some people really don't care for church on Christmas day but I really enjoyed it. Beautiful music and a great speaker. Then we came home and the kids played while I cooked up a storm before we headed off to meet my parents and my sister and Troy's parents for dinner. Roasted pork, perfect mashed potatoes, wild rice stuffing, peppermint ice cream. A real treat.
After that it was time to scoop up our exhausted kiddos and tuck them into bed after a long and wonderful day.
By the way, it ended up taking me three days to finish this post due to the above mentioned "children," "excitement," and "wanting snuggles." And our tree is still up. That's next on the to-do list. Probably.