Sunday, December 29, 2013

Christmas 2013

What a wonderful Christmas we had! After our big Christmas last year with a lot of my family at my parents' house in Park City, it was nice to just be home this year and have my parents come join us for a nice chunk of the day. Oh how I love just staying in our house in our new Christmas Eve pj's all day long on Christmas, enjoying a lovely diet of chocolate, jelly candies, and some rich Eggs Benedict in between rounds of opening presents, taking time to really play with and explore each present before opening the next. It takes us all day long to get through our gifts and it's mellow and pleasant and I just love it.

Here's the story of our Christmas Eve and Christmas in photos:

Christmas Eve we made gingerbread houses, wrapped gifts and then had a delicious dinner with our neighbors before starting our traditional "Nazareth Supper" of simple Bible era snacks (pita bread, goat cheese, grapes) and sending Mary and Joseph off to Bethlehem.

Everyone got to open one present. And surprise, surprise - they got new pj's!

Everyone put on their pj's to head off to bed:

Cookies (made entirely by the twins) and a note for Santa, veggies for the reindeer ("and for Santa if he's sort of sick of treats by the time he gets to our house...")

The kids sang on the stairs to wake us up promptly at the negotiated time of 7:10am. Their songs were extra good with Ashton accompanying them on his guitar.

Then we opened up our stockings together (Santa brings stockings to our bedrooms like he does in England):

After enjoying some stocking treats, the kids got ready to head down and see what Santa brought - so exciting!

Sure enough! Santa came. And brought the very things each child wished for:

Isaac got the long board he asked Santa for - plus a bonus - a unicycle that he practiced on all day on Christmas and has really started to master. Despite all the crashes we heard every few minutes all day as Isaac worked on developing unicycle skills by hanging onto furniture for balance, Isaac's body and everything in the house still seems to be in tact.

Ashton got a bike. A very very similar bike to the one he got last Christmas which was stolen just a few months after Christmas. This time Santa gave Ashton a nice lock to go with his new bike. Hopefully this bike will stick around a little longer!
 Silas, Oliver and Eliza all got skis, boots and poles which they were so hoping to get:


And Santa brought a surprise TV! Our TV has been on its last legs for a long time, flickering all the time.

Eliza got the best thing from her cousin - a knitting kit for making hats. She got right to work.

Oliver's cousin gift was exciting legos and a dog that thrilled him to the core:

Silas got legos too - from grandparents and cousins. They spent much of the day very happily putting things together.

My parents came for our traditional Eggs Benedict brunch and spent a wonderful afternoon with us:

After breakfast, we did presents from Grammie and Grandfather:

Lego sets for the twins (more! Yeah!)

 keyboard and headphones to go with Ashton's Nook:

 New shoes and watch for Isaac:
Eliza got a watch too but somehow I don't have a photo. Plus they gave her the very exciting gift of a new violin case and bow and a fixed-up old violin for me to play so that we can play duets together. Yeah!

One of my very favorite parts of Christmas is watching the kids give each other the gifts they so thoughtfully and carefully pick out and wrap for each other.

Isaac and Eliza spent serious money on nice shirts for each other:

Liza gave Jared a very nice card and a bunch of coupons for kind services by her:

Ashton gave the twins their favorite junk food:

Eliza went all-out and gave the twins books and lego sets and gum:

The twins were so excited to give thoughtfully-selected dollar store gifts that they proudly paid for at the cash register themselves with their own earned money:


Lots of love going on as the kids give their thoughtful hard-earned gifts to each other:

I like the mess of wrapping paper. Maybe I'm weird but I like to leave it there a while and sit amidst it as we open presents and feel the abundance and love that the pretty paper and bows strewn about represents.

Ashton has been talking about how cool fedoras are. He was pretty darn excited to get this:

And the kids got some clothes they've been needing and were pretty excited about that.

So nice to have my parents there. I'm so amazingly blessed to have these wonderful people as my parents.
The kids sure adore their Grammie and Grandfather who shower them with love and praise and help them feel so great about life. I'm so grateful to live relatively near my parents and have my kids know them on a whole new level.

 My gift to my parents was a book full of photos of all us kids growing up - almost 20 years' worth of photos gathered together in one place for them. It was actually way harder to make this book than I ever would have guessed - but I'm so glad they loved the gift so much. And I ordered a book for myself too so that I can have these photos handy to show the kids anytime. So many wonderful memories in that book. How in the world did they raise NINE children so beautifully? Wow.

What a Christmas!


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