We had so much fun at Christmas this year that I have been basking in the memories for the past few weeks. And the best part was that I took pictures with my real camera the whole time! Get ready for picture overload, people…
Christmas Eve we were here at our house. I was so glad we weren’t traveling on Christmas this year. There’s just sometime so special for the kids to be in our own home. My mom and grandma came over, and we all went to the Christmas Eve service at our new church.
Gracie and I each carried red purses that night, and she thought it was the greatest thing ever! I am not a fan of dressing alike, but I definitely think matching purses might become a new tradition for us girls.
That night we went to the family-friendly service at church that night. It was our first time experiencing a children’s service on Christmas Eve and – whoa. They did a big nativity where all the children were invited to act out the manger scene, complete with costumes! My kids didn’t want to participate this year. Michael said he wanted to watch and then do it next year, which I completely understood. It was complete chaos with hundreds of children participating! I’ve never seen so many shepherds or wise men! But what a sweet, sweet reminder of the gift of a baby. I loved every minute of it.
(Though, Chris was completely overwhelmed and I thought he might break out in hives!)
After church, we came home and had Christmas Eve dinner and presents with my grandma. She has Christmas Eve with us every year, and then gets up early on Christmas morning and drives to Atlanta to have Christmas afternoon with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. It was so much fun to see her and the kids playing. Grandma is like one big kid herself, so she and my kids seem to understand each other.
After Grandma and mom left for the night, we got down to business at our house. We set out Christmas cookies for Santa, and then the kids went straight to bed!
That night, while the children were nestled, all snug in their beds… SANTA CAME! The funny part is that Chris and I were awake by 5:30 that morning. We got up, turned the lights on, made coffee, turned on the Christmas music… and then sat there, waiting. And waiting. And waiting. By 6:30, I made Chris go wake the kids up!
We had so much fun on Christmas morning! The kids were mesmerized. I have the greatest video of them as they come running down the stairs, but my phone is not letting me publish it to YouTube for some reason. I’ll work on that and post it when I can because it is hysterical. They basically don’t even notice the two giant cars sitting in our living room! Gracie runs straight for a tube of toothpaste in her stocking, and Bean went for a Ninja Turtles book! Throughout the whole video, you can hear Chris and I saying, “But what about the CARS?!?!” It’s pretty funny!
The kids loved every single one of their presents! There were no duds in the pile! Which made for one happy Mrs. Claus!
We spent the morning opening presents and eating sausage and cheese balls. It was wonderful. Around 7:30, once the sun had come up, we took the cars outside and let the kids try them out. I’m sure the neighbors LOVED that… 7:30am and there was this loud wheezing of two Power Wheels ringing out through the neighborhood!
The Power Wheels have been big hits around here. The kids have ridden them every day that we have been home so far. Bean’s car is absolutely perfect for him. We didn’t end up changing out the battery for the 12 volt because he is such a little dude, we thought we’d see if we really needed to do that or not once he was in it. Turns out, he’s just the right size for the standard 6 volt battery. Gracie is a little trickier because she doesn’t actually weigh enough yet. She’s so light that sometimes her car just spins out since there isn’t enough weight to propel it forward. We’ve put rocks under her seat to help give her some weight, but we still have to help her out a bit, especially if she gets down to the bottom of the slope in our yard. Her car has trouble coming back up the incline. But it’s a pretty small issue, and we’re glad she’ll be able to use the car for a long time as she grows into it.
Later that morning, we headed back inside and really just laid around all morning, playing. It was so much fun to see the kids having a great time. I even convinced Gracie to snuggle with me for a mili-second, which was a Christmas miracle!
My mom came over Christmas afternoon, and we opened presents with her. I love having her so close by any day, but on holidays it is just the BEST.
She gave me such thoughtful presents. One was this cute little sign for my home office. She said it was so funny that I have this crazy blog life, but absolutely nothing in my real life mentions it! So, she ordered this sign from an Etsy shop to hang in my office. I thought that was the greatest!
But the best gift she’s ever given me was a quilt that she made. Over the past year, my mom has been hand stitching two quilts for my sister and me. She took some of my dad’s clothes and some of her clothes and made a quilt out of them. On the back in the center of the quilt is a patch that says, “A celebration of marriage,” and then has her and my dad’s names and anniversary. The quilt represents their lives all sewn together. To the average eye, I’m sure it just looks like a pinwheel quilt, but when I look at it, I see my dad sitting in his big yellow chair in his favorite flannel pajama pants. I see the pink shirt he wore to my sister’s gender reveal party when he thought she was having a girl! I see dresses that my mom wore to work when I was in high school. I see golf shirts they each wore when they started playing golf together. Sitting under that quilt is like sitting with my dad again. I cannot think of a better way to keep his memory close.
I think that’s why this Christmas was so special to me. It was about memories. We made them, remembered them, honored them, and laughed over them. It was the best kind of happiness.
The day after Christmas, we packed up and headed to Pensacola to spend a week with Chris’s family. Pictures of those happy memories tomorrow…