Tuesday, Jan 6
I can’t say that I didn’t expect them to wake up early, but since The Hubs and I were having so much fun after “the children were all snug in their beds,” we didn’t exactly go to sleep. It was a late Christmas Eve for us and the calls from the top of the steps, “Can we come down?!” came way to early. To delay the whole process, I took the stockings upstairs and handed them out to everyone. It was so fun listening to them oooohing and aaaahhhing over the band aids and toothbrushes, Mad Libs and Silly Bands as I threw the French Toast Casserole and ham into the oven. By some miracle, we held them off until 6:30, and suffice it to say, they were ready to tear into the presents. The Hubs and I took our positions on the couch, he with the video camera, and I with my cell phone, trying to capture all the surprised expressions and thankful smiles.
Little One was too cute, saying “Awwww!” while snuggling her gifts to her cheek. She is one of the most expressive eighteen month olds I have ever known. When her older siblings were opening their gifts, she stood and watched intently, taking it all in. It’s amazing to think that just two years ago, we were announcing to the children that we would be having another baby, and now, I can’t imagine our lives without her.
It’s difficult to think of new and clever things to buy our children after ten years of gift-giving. The Hubs and I came up with a budget, of course, and took stock of what toys we already have. I’d say that this year, the kids received things that they really appreciate and use, and so for me, our mission was accomplished. And Santa did pretty well too. Santa! If you’re a blog reader, thanks for the thoughtful gifts this year!
I must admit that I have a favorite gift. This beauty accoutrements cart was given to us by my sister, Kathy. It belonged to her daughter Kristen who is now in college and just doesn’t use it anymore. Well, Dimples is just eight and a half, and doesn’t really have any beauty supplies quite yet. So I hit the arts and crafts aisle at Target and picked up a few things from Michael’s. There certainly was plenty to choose from in my own crafting section in the basement storage too. I painted one side of the mirror on top with some chalkboard paint so that Dimples can draw pictures or write herself little notes. She’s just sort of past the toy phase. Ever since the beginning of this school year, she has moved into a new phase of just wanting to play pretend with her younger siblings or do arts and crafts. Oh, I just love this age! I know she can’t stay like this forever, but I am going to do my best to appreciate every day of her still being a little girl!
We hosted Christmas dinner again this year, which I love, of course. It’s not easy for me to sit down and just enjoy the mess of Christmas morning. Somehow, after many years of hosting, I have learned that I have to allow myself to enjoy Christmas in my own way. I love being in the heart of our home on Christmas: the kitchen. I’m not slaving away over a hot stove, but I am keeping everyone fed, playing music, doing dishes, and maybe doing some simple cooking. I’m talking and texting with family members, wishing friends a Merry Christmas, and snapping photos of the children as they play. The noises and sounds of the home are easy for me to hear from my Christmas Command Post. A nap up in the girls’ room gives me the fuel I need after an early morning to serve my in-laws a sumptuous feast later in the day. Now that’s what I call “enjoying the mess of Christmas”!
My in-laws arrived in the late afternoon with enough time to visit with the children and hear all about their gifts and Christmas Eve. Then we sat down in the dining room for our family’s traditional Christmas dinner: A standing rib roast (this year with a rosemary salt crust), velvety mashed potatoes, carrots, and a simple salad. I served homemade cookies for dessert while we did some star gazing through the lens of a telescope my brother-in-law made with his own two hands. It was a beautiful Christmas.
Tomorrow, I’ll tell you all about our family’s Feast of St. Stephen tradition.
Here’s a preview for you…