Christmas 2013

Ahhhhhh….

The Christmas festivities have, at last, wound down for our household.  I love the holiday season, and while this year seemed quieter than years past, I am taking a deep breath of relaxation.

We started our celebrations with my family.

10This year we decided to forgo the usual “fancier” meal and try something low-key and kid friendly.  I’m always nervous when the fine china comes out in the presence of my children.  (Yikes!!)

Here’s the REAL problem.  We always start eating snacky, munchie type food hours before the meal and then we’re MISERABLE after the meal. (The misery usually lasts for at least 24 hours.) Are we the only ones who do this?  Why do we this to ourselves.  In reflection we vowed to keep the low-key nature and throw out the actual meal next year.  Why throw in a meal when we feast on the pre-snacking.  It’s so much easier to chat, laugh and relax when you can sit around a table of easy food.  Right?

We were lucky that we were all able to gather together.  An ice storm/snow storm moved into to mid-section of the country.

8No worries.  A little weather wasn’t going to keep us away.

The kids were happy as larks with their gifts.

9The girl is on a Barbie kick.

11He got a pair of football gloves and refused to take them off for the whole night.  He also got several educational workbooks and eagerly sat down to work in them.  I love this about him.  His desire for knowledge is immense.

Christmas Eve is usually spent with Grady’s mom and his siblings.  It’s a LARGE time.  A little wild, a little noisy and a LOT of fun and laughter.  I didn’t get any pictures this year, but is was a great time.

Our family tradition is to drive around town afterward and take in the fun Christmas light displays.  This year was especially fun.  Ella’s excitement over the displays was over the top.  She would, literally, SQUEAL with delight at every house.  Grady and I would just look at each other and giggle at her happiness.  That’s what it’s all about.  Joy.  Pure joy.

The grand finale of the drive is our historic downtown courthouse.

7It’s such a beauty.  There’s something about being on a quiet, dark street taking in the tranquility of the season.  If it weren’t for my family wanting to get home to prepare for Santa I could have sat there for an hour.

But… of course, that isn’t reality and we had to get home to prep for the big man in his red suit.

6More squeals, more excitement, more giggles.  Surprisingly, it wasn’t Monkey who had a hard time falling asleep.  About 20 minutes after we put them to bed Tuck came into our room (almost BUSTING me!!!) upset because he couldn’t fall asleep.  His heart was so heavy with concern (almost with tears in his eyes) that Santa was going to pass us by because he couldn’t get to sleep.  Momma came to the rescue.  We sat in the recliner, rocking and watching the most boring show any seven-year-old could imagine…. a cooking show.  It did the trick.  Thirty minutes later his eyes got heavy and he trudged to his bed and fell asleep quickly.

Christmas Day was QUIET.  It was perfect.  It was everything I love for it to be.

2After we woke up and the kids saw what Santa brought and opened their presents we went for a little drive with Daddy.  It was a gloriously beautiful morning.

We came home and had a big country-style breakfast of homemade biscuits, eggs and bacon.

…and the rest of the day was spent doing lots of this…

43and this….

1…Polly Pockets.  Obsessed.

5(I apologize for the horrible picture quality.)  The only thing this boy wanted for Christmas was football gear.  Green Bay Packers football gear to be exact.  It’s been a year of football fascination and discovery for this kid.  When he asked for Packers stuff I didn’t really question it.  He sometimes gets on a streaks and I just run with it.  Then one day my curiosity got me.  I asked, “Why the Packers, Buddy?”  I thought maybe it had something to do with a player or the colors or something random like that.

His answer sent me into a belly laugh.

“I have to prove to Cassidy that I like the Packers, Mom!  She doesn’t believe me.”  Oh my.  The boy wanted to impress a girl in his class.  I just smiled, patted his back and said, “Okay.”

….and then I had to tease him a little bit when everyone else asked why he wanted Packers gear.  It’s just too cute to see him blush and slap his hands to his face in that, “Oh, MOM!!!!!” face.  I can’t help it.

A few days later we had Christmas with Grady’s dad and family.  It was another night of extreme over indulging and complete misery.  I should have worn stretchy pants.

12I don’t know how we did it, but we actually got these crazy kids to sit still long enough to get a few good pictures.  I’m not sure that it’s ever actually happened before.  If I took a picture of reality it would be full of wrestling, running, insane laughter and general mayhem.  All in good fun.

Our final gathering was with Grady’s mom’s family.  This one is always relaxed and calm.  We feast on good soups and sweet treats.  The little kids go upstairs and play for hours in the toy room.  The big kids/boys go outside and hunt.  The girls stay in and chat and play games.  It’s a great way to wind down the holiday.

…and that brings me to the end and a big deep breath of calm.

What do your celebrations look like?  Are they calm and serene?  Are they a rat race and a menagerie of gatherings?  Do you look forward to the season or does it send you in a tail spin?  I’d love to know.

Peace, love and CELEBRATIONS!!!!

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One thought on “Christmas 2013

  1. I love your photos and description of your celebration. It looks like you had a lovely Christmas! I have to say I was nodding my head as I was reading about over-stuffing oneself at holiday meals and enjoying a quieter holiday. Thanks for giving us a look at your Christmas goings and doings. Your children had the sweetest expressions and I’m glad all fell asleep finally so Santa could make his deliveries!

    Best wishes for a happy new year!
    Allison

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