Every Christmas is such a new experience as the kids get older. I never think it can get better, but it always does. Even though I am sad to see them grow up so fast, I also can’t wait to see what the coming years bring. This year was my favorite Christmas yet. I wasn’t sure it was going to be all happy and wonderful, having three strong-willed toddlers on my hands, that love to fight and cry over just about anything. But, they really surprised their mommy, and were little Christmas angels. But why don’t we start at the weekend and work our way to the big day.
Of course we had to take some pictures all spruced up for Christmas Sunday. (Thanks for the cute sweater vests Grandma Robinson!) We tried for about 2 seconds to get everyone together, and then decided we wanted to enjoy the morning, so we gave up. It was a nice meeting at church, what I was able to see of it anyway. I was happy to get home and for all of us to take a good nap.
We’ve had a very busy season. We barely made a dent in our great collection of Christmas movies (I can’t stop myself from buying a few every year!). So we were pleased to find that we hadn’t really planned anything big for Christmas Eve. I started off with a good run with my boot campers, and afterward, going on some last minute errands for fun. I found some steals along the way which came in handy. It was so festive seeing everything in good spirits gathering odds and ends.
I mentioned that I made the pieces for a gingerbread house when we made cookies, and it came in handy on Christmas Eve! Thanks to hot glue for a quick assembly, we had a fun time as a family decorating, and snacking on treats together. It must have tired them out, because we all took a great nap after that. Can you tell I really like nap time?
We adults had a big dinner planned that we knew the kids wouldn’t care much for, so held off until they were in bed. For the kids’ dinner, I thought they’d like to make their own homemade pizzas. They LOVED it. I thought we took pictures of it, but I can’t find any which means I probably just enjoyed that time with my family without worrying about the camera, which is good thing sometimes. They were great little pizza-makers, and were so proud of their creations. They claimed they didn’t want pizza before we started, but when they saw their warm pizzas they made by themselves, they all of the sudden had a great appetite and everyone ate well that night. Not something I can say for most meals around here. Especially for Alex, who ate the most! It was a good decision.
My mom likes to give the kids new pjs every year, and I knew they’d be excited with their pajama obsession lately. The opening of them was a bit dramatic. It the recent months, I’ve started to buy matching things so the boys don’t fight over them. Well, clothes are no exceptions, and Bennett was devastated that he didn’t have car pjs like Alex. I was frustrated, mostly because I thought it was a foreshadowing of what Christmas morning was going to be like (I did buy duplicates of most things, even for Ruby, to avoid as many fights as possible, but I thought they’d still find something to freak out about), so I had a little time out for myself to avoid ruining the night for everyone. Eventually, with a little bribery (the power of chocolate), he slipped right into his adorable penguin pjs and all was right in the world again. Ruby was ecstatic about her cute fleece nighty! She couldn’t stop talking about it. We webcammed with KC’s family, and the kids took turns being front and center as they bragged about their new pajamas.
We don’t have an ornament tradition, but when I saw these on sale while running quickly through the store, I had to get them. The kids have been obsessed with a neighbor’s inflatable Christmas decorations, one of which is an “M a M” that they ask to see every single day. I thought this would be a cute memory of their last Christmas in MD. I guess Ruby thought the red m&m would want to eat one of its own kind.
We pulled out a new nativity, thanks to Nana Jan. I saved it for this occasion so it would keep their attention as we told the story of Baby Jesus, and why it means to much to us. They grasp a little more of it every year.
We then enjoyed an adults-only decadent meal. I decided to change things up this year and make a Mexican themed fondue. We had fun thinking of all the dippers to go in our chili cheese sauce. Jeff really pulled out all the stops with two kinds of perfectly cooked flank steak, and some crab dishes on the side, among other things! We also had rotisserie chicken, peppers, jalapeno cheddar bread, chips, potatoes and some festive nog. Needing a little something sweet, I made some quick cinnamon tortilla crisps to stay with the theme. We knew we had other big meals ahead, so we didn’t care much for a fancy dessert. A delectable night.
KC and I turned on a Christmas Story (how long had it been?!) while we did what little set up we had to do. I wrapped the night before, and we kept things pretty simple with the move coming up, so playing Santa was pretty easy this year.
This post is getting long, and you know Christmas morning will have a lot of pictures, so maybe I’ll stop here for now and come back with the rest of the story later…