Saturday, January 3, 2015

Christmas was super.

Easily, the best part about Christmas for me is watching my kids be so eager the night before. To hear their little squeals when they see things under the tree left by Santa. To have them hug me at the end of a very busy day and tell me it was the best Christmas they ever had.

Our traditions include spending Christmas Eve with Matt's family and Christmas Day with mine. It's kind of nice our families celebrate on different days so we've never had to choose where we were going.
For years my brother and I used to harass our mom and say we "always get to open a gift on Christmas Eve!" and every year my mom says no, that we're nuts. Well now that I'm a mom, I get to bring that back. Hilariously, Jackson says to me that morning, "But MOM!! You always let us open a gift on Christmas Eve!!" and it was true. So I let them open their big bags from us which was a new fuzzy blanket, new pajamas, a new outfit, and boots. Olivia wanted UGG boots (hahahahaha- guess what she didn't get? Yeah, she got some Payless knock offs) and Jackson wanted "work boots".

Then we packed up gifts and went to Matt's parent's house. Where Jackson promptly spiked a fever and was basically a useless sack on my lap. Hardly ate, didn't want to do much, just dozed on and off in my arms.
This was as perky as he got when it came time to open presents. Needless to say, we skipped church and headed straight home. Even Olivia was tired. So tired in fact, that she forgot to set out cookies and milk for Santa. Thankfully for the kids, this mom knows what Santa likes to eat and made sure he was taken care of.

Oh! So I have to tell you this special thing. So weeks ago, when we saw the mall Santa, Jackson told him that we were having a baby so if Santa had any left over toys, we could keep them safe for Penelope. He could even bring us some from the Island of Misfit Toys. (If you don't know what that is, you are the worst Christmas celebrator ever.) So I mentioned this and I had two friends generously give me a whole bunch of infant toys/rattles/teethers/etc for this project.
So I bagged them all up, and put a letter from Santa in it. AND, Jackson mentioned several times that Penelope was going to need a letter on the tree, too because we have an O for Olivia and a J for Jackson. Target just happened to have one last P left so I obviously scooped it up. 
Let me tell you, the BEST part this year was hearing the kids run down the stairs and both say they would let us sleep for a little while (best kids EVER), but also having them run in to tell us that even Penelope got a present! So Olivia read the letter and Jackson absolutely beamed. It made me tear up.
Here's our tree, Christmas morning, pre-chaos. Actually, we don't have chaos. The kids are super mindful to put their wrap/garbage in the bags right away so it's never a big mess. Have I mentioned I have the best kids ever?
The big thing Jackson asked for this year was an electric keyboard and a Nintendo DS.
 Olivia really wanted an iPod. She was pretty excited, though you can't tell from this picture.
 I couldn't buy Matt the $1500 shotgun he wanted, but I did get him a Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun. Coincidentally, he wore his "You'll Shoot Your Eye Out" shirt without even knowing the greatness waiting for him under the tree. He got that and these glasses from A Christmas Story (his favorite Christmas movie) with a leg lamp ice cube tray, some new shirts and an IOU for the tools he wanted to order because they weren't here yet.
 Twinky got a bone. And a fresh hair cut and bath because he smelled like a sweaty foot.
Olivia got a bunch of artsy things, some doll clothes, Legos, some kinetic sand, new games for her DS, a tablet we got for $30 to replace her dying Nook, and books.
 Jackson got his DS, a gaming chair, Legos, kinetic sand, some games, books, and a movie.
Matt showing Olivia how  her iPod works, she was so excited.
She doesn't totally understand when she has headphones on, she doesn't need to scream at us. We're still working on it.
Jackson was a pretty happy little guy.

I ended up getting a massage thing for my chair (LOVE), new underwear because Twinky ate a bunch of mine, new books, the purse I asked for, super warm & fuzzy socks, and new winter boots. Oh, I also got a USB pickle light for my laptop. Matt is especially proud of this.

But we got all cleaned up and dressed and got ready for my family to come over. We don't do a dinner on Christmas Day, we basically do a bunch of appetizers and desserts. So that's nice because I'm never in the mood to actually cook. This year though, I decided to try out the new crock pot Matt's parents got me and made some sweet & sour meatballs and then in mine, I made macaroni and cheese. Though nobody knows how good it all was because I FORGOT TO PUT ANY OF IT OUT. *sigh*

Also making an appearance was my brother and sister in law and their adorable baby, Adriana. Who absolutely loved the swing I have here (glad it works!) and stole the show. But more importantly, we all got to see the Baby Whisperer in action.
As it turns out, Adriana thinks Matt is pretty damn awesome. She was happy as a clam with him. He acts like a grump, and I don't care what he says, he loves babies.
I'm bummed this picture didn't turn out well at all, but he was making faces at her and it seemed like she was copying. It was freaking adorable.

Olivia got an acoustic guitar (and lessons!) from my parents because she wants to be Taylor Swift someday. Jackson got this HUGE Lego train set that has a remote on it and he was so damn excited. Him and Matt have since put it together and I swear he plays with it every day. My parents even got Penelope the infant bouncy seat I had on my registry, and my mom got me a bunch of maternity shirts because I am in need for clothes that fit.

After everyone left, we closed out Christmas in the only way the Strands know how to do:
Matt, Olivia and Jackson at the dining room table assembling their Lego sets. Where I have to remind Matt they aren't HIS sets, but the kids' and he needs to not take over their toys.

Overall? Great Christmas. So great. I love every Christmas, and I can't say that I've ever had a bad one. I'm so lucky to have such great kids, to have a husband who definitely spoiled me this year, and to have great family. We all have a great time together and I'm glad my kids will have these type of memories as we get older.

So I hope you all had a great Christmas. Next year will be even more fun with a little girl crawling around and eating bows.

1 comment:

Gini said...

Happy Christmas, Strands! Ethan LOVED your gifts, the Jake boat is a regular in the tub every night!