As we finished up playing Santa and Mrs. Claus on Christmas Eve, my husband commented that he thought it was cute that I was so excited. I assumed that he was talking about how excited I was about giving the kids their new presents. It turns out he thought it was cute that I was so excited about all the snow. Well, he was right.
Two days before Christmas we were getting rain. Sure, it was rather warm, but still, rain! On Christmas! Of course, Tony and I started singing "I'm dreaming of a rainy Christmas." It just doesn't work!
Fortunately, on Christmas Eve it started to snow. Now two days later, it hasn't really stopped! I guess that's why they say "be careful what you wish for." By the time we made our way home from church on Christmas Eve, the roads were getting quite slick and the ground was covered with snow.
I honestly don't remember a time in my life where the ground was bare and then it started snowing on Christmas Eve. Sure, I've had my share of white Christmases, but never quite like this one!
We managed to get our kiddos to bed at a reasonable hour. Then, we began bringing the presents up from the basement. We stuffed the stockings and put the Santa gifts just under their stockings. I even remembered to take a bite out of one of the cookies we left out for Santa. Oh the sacrifices parents have to make!
Amazingly, the children slept until nearly seven on Christmas morning. I couldn't believe it!
I made them all wait to come down together so that I could snap a few pictures. They were so excited.
The big surprise we had for them was a play kitchen. Two days earlier, we'd made a last run to Sam's to get some things for our holiday meals. While we were there I noticed the kitchen back in the markdown corner. We made the last minute decision to buy it for the kids. They were quite surprised to find out that Tony went back to pick it up after I bought it right under their noses.
Anyways, little Jane was absolutely delighted with the kitchen. She stood and played with it the entire time we opened gifts. Chris and Ann helped open her gifts because all of her attention was on the new kitchen.
Before we opened the gifts, we added Baby Jesus to our nativity scene. Fortunately I remembered where I'd hidden him for the past month!
At our house, our children get three gifts from us for Christmas and one from Santa. Though I grew up with amazing Christmases and piles of gifts, we thought it would be important to limit what our children get in order to keep the focus on the real meaning of the season. It is surprisingly hard to decide on just three (well, I guess technically four) gifts to buy for my little ones. In fact, I cheated a bit this year by giving them the kitchen as a joint gift. I also put a few nicer little things in their stockings. I couldn't help it. Sometimes it's just fun to spoil them!
Since we knew it would take Ann and Chris all of three seconds to open their gifts if left to their own devices, we decided to slow things down a bit. We opened gifts one person at a time. That included Tony and me.
Tony opened a large collection of piano classic CDs that he'd been eyeing at the bookstore. He also opened some new workout/lounge pants and an electric fondue pot. (We're guessing we'll soon learn why dinner at The Melting Pot costs so much!)
I opened a wonderful Lisa Leonard necklace. I had suggested it to Tony and I love, love, love it! I've got it on right now. I also got a small hand vac and a larger corded hand vac. Yes, I actually wanted these, and yes, I realize I'm quite lame. He also got me a Jillian Michaels workout DVD since he knows I've been enjoying The 30-Day Shred so much. My stocking was stuffed with a Starbucks gift card and some gum. (If only it would stop snowing, I could go get a yummy coffee drink!)
Ann, who was quite possibly the most excited about the whole present thing, opened some new Little Pet Shop toys, a slumber party set for her 18-inch doll and a little cooking set. Her Santa gift was a the Klutz Tea Party book. Santa was even thoughtful to include extra tea sets so she could have parties with her friends and their dolls. (She is already planning her first party.)
Chris was beyond delighted to open a nerf-like bow and arrow from my dad and stepmom. We gave him a new View Master with some slides, Trio Blocks, and a new plastic piggy (technically a robot) bank. We learned the hard way that his piggy band should not be breakable! His Santa gift was the Klutz Superhero book. It came with a wonderful red superhero cape and the book has masks and wrist guards to punch out and use.
As I mentioned, little Jane was delighted with the kitchen. However, she also opened some new board books, a Little People set, and a new stainless steel water bottle with her name on it. Her Santa gift was a little baby doll that came with a binky, bottle, tiny bear, and a toy rattle. She is sleeping with it as I type.
After we opened gifts, we enjoyed cinnamon bagels from Panera. That is the kids favorite breakfast treat right now, so I figured why not. We spent the rest of the day enjoying our new gifts, watching movies and playing in the snow. We made cookies to celebrate Jesus' birthday.
It was a wonderful Christmas.
I remember as I grew upI was a bit sad that Christmas would never have the same magic as it did when I was young. It turns out it only gets better when you see it through the eyes of your children.
Merry Late Christmas!