#1. The weekend before Christmas we celebrated with the Whites. We had dinner and opened gifts. I won’t even try and remember all that our (spoiled) kids got at the 4 Christmases, but I went shopping yesterday for a storage bin, and a new cube shelf with canvas totes because I know it’ll take some organizing when we get home. I’m also planning on packing away a few unopened toys that I might re-gift to Garrett on his birthday next year when they are more age appropriate. He’ll never know! I got that cool red canvas wagon for the park and the beach. It’ll carry food, drinks, towels, toys, and babies. I love it. And Paul became and NFL owner. His dad bought him stock in the Greenbay Packers. He is beyond thrilled. (click on collages to make them bigger.)
#2. On Christmas Eve we had a turkey dinner with my family and my Aunt Barbara and Grandma and Grandpa Garrett. Then we did the nativity. It was a little rough this year. Garrett the shepherd was all over the place and baby Jesus (Addie) had the hiccups the whole time. But we made it through. Then we did aunt/uncle/great grandparent gifts. (And about the turkey dinner, I’d love to know if people think that the traditional Thanksgiving dinner should also be the traditional Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinner. I kind of had to talk my mom into this meal, and I seem to be the only one who really thinks it should be the same.) Anyway, it was a yummy dinner, fun gifts, and good company.
#3. Christmas morning we did gifts with my parents and stockings for each other and went to church. Garrett did great at opening gifts, even though it took him a while. And Addie was all smiles, all day. She’s ‘real’ smiling now, and it’s so fun. Paul went slightly over budget. He does every year. I got a cute cover for my iphone, among other things, and he also made me a Bedtime Caddy out of a tote with a handle. I never make it to bed without several trips to the living room, so the tote is to help me remember vitamins, phone, monitors, chargers, burp clothes, and anything else I may need. He’s so thoughtful. But the best gift, I get today. We went to lunch and got pedicures, and I got tickets to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra tonight at the Energy Solutions Arena!!! I’m so excited!!! If you’ve never seen TSO live, you need to at least once. This is my 4th year seeing them and it never gets old. Someone asked me once if TSO is kind of like ‘The Forgotten Carols.’ Umm, no. Not even close. (There’s a reason those carols are forgotten.)
#4. Christmas afternoon was spent with my family and my Auntie and Uncle Jon. Yummy food, yummy pie, and some gifts. I love Christmas at Auntie’s. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon. Garrett loved exploring and playing. After his birthday he started understanding the concept of blowing out candles. But now he tries to blow out everything- flashlights, LED candles, and Christmas lights. The picture on the top right is him trying to blow out the Christmas tree. Both the kids zonked out as soon as we got in the car. It was a fun full day.
On Christmas night Paul and I went out to do our Christmas night tradition. Late dinner at Denny’s and a big tip for the server. This is 3 years in a row now and we love doing it. On the drive there and back we talked about what we hope to be able to do to help people more in the future, and how excited we are to get our kids involved in the tradition, and also how we want to think of new ways of gift giving primarily with our siblings. We’re all the type that if we want something we just go buy it, so there’s nothing any of us ever really need come Christmas. We’re working on some ideas to help others rather that giving unnecessary stuff to each other every year.
Anyway, we had fun. And I'm looking forward to the coming years as the kids get older and more excited about Christmas.