Christmas 2011 did happen, but it happened in the middle of a family trying to move overseas. It was awesome, I have pictures, but I never got around to putting them up here. Not sure I want to make that a habit. All that work and magic deserves some documentation!
So, although late, here’s our Christmas Day 2012.
It started with a visit from Santa in the wee hours of the morning. He left our living room looking like this: He ate up our cookies and left us a note. Then left little ones snug in their beds, visions of sugar plums dancing and all that….until one of those little ones woke up at 3:02am and saw that Santa had in fact come (he leaves their stockings in their rooms so that they have something to occupy them when they wake up before we want to wake up). This little someone, I can’t even remember who, decided to share the exciting news with his two sisters sleeping in his room with him (Karen was in Em’s room). So, I woke up to bickering. Hazel was yelling at Charlie about going back to sleep, that it wasn’t light yet, that they couldn’t wake up, Charlie felt wronged, Em was confused…..I went in and got angry, everyone was yelling about how everyone else was ruining Christmas and of course no one could go back to sleep with all that anticipation bursting out of them. So, I sent Hazel in to sleep in my spot with Jeff and I climbed up into her upper bunk so that I could make sure no one said a peep and we all finally went back to sleep around 5am (except for Hazel, I don’t think she went back to sleep). We woke up again at 7am and tried to forget that any of that madness even happened. It did feel like a dream, but left us all a little more tired than we usually are on Christmas morning. I’m hoping that doesn’t happen again, no more stockings in rooms. Maybe just outside the door next year? I’ll have to add that one to my list of things I’m going to do differently.
We were happy to wake up to see that it was snowing outside, a nice light dusting covering our dreary winter world with big Christmas flakes softly falling. Wish I’d have snapped a better picture than this, but there was kind of a lot going on. The kids all went in one at a time, littlest first, to see what treasures Santa had brought them.
Despite my worries that they might not get their all their hearts desires (you know, that Christmas eve panic that maybe they’ll be disappointed after all that build up), they were all pleased as punch with their gifts. We tried to keep it simple this year, but man, things always get out of hand. I tried to stop in the blur of all of it to recognize how deeply and richly blessed we are to have such a full Christmas morning.
Since the kids like to go back over the years and see what they got each Christmas, here they each are with their Santa treasures. Peter got this Little People garage, cleaned up from eBay, and was utterly delighted, especially when we presented him with a box full of all the cars we could find in the house. He played with this thing for practically every waking Christmas moment. A big person would have to come along to help him after a while since there was always a huge traffic jam building up from all the cars going down those ramps. All in all, this gift was a winner. EMMELINE: Emmeline asked Santa to bring her a real wooden high chair and a baby doll. Last year he brought her a highchair, but the elves must have been slacking off, because it was plastic and the legs wouldn’t stay attached. They did a much better job this year. She also got some wooden fruit (5 cent bargain) and a book and a puzzle. CHARLIE: Charlie asked Santa for the Lego Mindstorm. I kept telling him all season that I didn't’ think Santa would bring such an extravagant gift that designed for children much older. Poor little guy was mustering up all of his faith in Santa throughout the season. But he took the blow gently and was excited about the Lego sorter and Lego book and Lego hovercraft. Santa explained in his letter that his elves really do have strict age criteria for certain toys and that they felt that he could put all the legos he has to good use with the book and the sorter. If he was disappointed , he didn’t let on. He seemed as happy as could be. He was also pretty psyched about this t-shirt sent by Uncle John and Aunt Clarissa. HAZEL: We’ve done it, we’ve taken the plunge into American Girl doll land. Hazel couldn’t be happier. (She looks tired though, doesn’t she? Hazel, not the doll Molly.)I wish I had more pictures of all the other awesome gifts our kids received from grandparents and aunts and uncles. We were all very spoiled. I had a few ugly tear through the gifts and frantically grab/complain/wine for another one moments (especially with Emmeline) which made me want to scale WAY back next year. But, all in all people were happy. We sat in a pile of glorious chaos and toys all day. No one got out of their PJ’s. We had a nice fancy brunch with our traditional Christmas Strata, but other than that we did nothing but sit like happy gluttons, eating, opening, playing. We did visit the Krucks right before dinner. We all went in our pajamas. Peter, still playing with that toy. He gets the prize for the happiest, least demanding Christmas kid. Just thrilled any time anyone handed him a present. No grabbing, gimmes or tantrums, just pure delight. I’m trying to cherish that, I know what’s to come!
It’s sort of crazy to go from this piled up Christmas tree: To this:
In 24 hours. It’s always so sad to let it all go. Like I said before, I’m so thankful to have had such a bountiful Christmas.
(But I’m working on a plan to do a major scale back next year.)