Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Christmas is great with kids.

Christmas is easily my favorite holiday. I enjoy going out to find gifts for people, I don't mind wrapping. I love making my cards and getting them in the mail, I love receiving cards in the mail. I don't totally mind making a large meal, and I like to bake cookies. 

This year started out strong in November. I was doing so well and I felt good. Then I started getting sick in the beginning of December and it literally sucked the life right out of me. I only baked two small batches of cookies (everyone was pretty disappointed about this), I half-assed our dinner. I got depressed because by mid-December more bills came in than expected so I was really broke and couldn't get Matt the things I really wanted to get him, which only made me feel terrible. And then my volunteer responsibilities at the kids' school, despite best efforts, grew exponentially and I ended that week feeling really angry. 

Then depression hit. I knew it was only a matter of time, but I really had hoped maybe Christmas would head it off another week or two, but alas- it hit me and hit me hard. Has managed to stick around and I really feel defeated. Which, it's a post for another day. But Christmas still came and this is what it looked like. 

We spend Christmas Eve with Matt's family every year. It's dinner and presents and hanging out for a bit. The kids were super excited to go out there and I just felt awful. It was all I could do to get out of bed in the morning.
They got some really great presents and Penelope was totally into ripping wrapping paper. Takes after her mom, clearly. But she got this fun little ride on elephant, which she totally loved that night. Now when I put her on it she cries. So, that's weird. But hopefully when she can balance on it on her own a little more she'll love it. It is super cute.
Uncle Karl got Olivia an expanding sphere, which Jackson is ridiculously jealous of. They both play with this thing all of the time.
Uncle Karl also got Jackson a gun that shoots a ton of darts really quickly. YAY ME. I cannot wait until he has kids because Auntie Sara will take her revenge.

Matt got some work pants he needed and a few other things I didn't even see. I got a griddle, a book, and a few other things. Overall it was a pretty fun night.

Once we got home we set out cookies and milk for Santa, and carrots for the reindeer. The kids were pretty excited there were just a few carrot crumbs left on our sidewalk. We got them to bed and I got the tree set up.
This year was a lighter Christmas than usual. Usually I try to go all out because they don't get anything all year. Even on birthdays, they get one small gift from us because usually that's all we can afford. This year I got them mostly all things that were activities, crafts, building things, etc. And a few new clothes because they had outgrown some pants and sweaters.
My friends Gini & Eric sent my kids a Christmas package this  year and they were dying to open them. It was the first thing they opened! It turned out to be the coolest animal slippers ever and no lie, they wear them all of the time. Penelope think they are hilarious.
We always open stockings first and everyone got their obligatory candy. Jackson got "shave gel" (which is foaming bath soap) and Olivia got nail polish. Penelope got a sippy cup and play cell phone.
I didn't get many pictures of kids with gifts, this is actually the only one. Jackson had asked the mall Santa for a tablet so we found a $30 cheap one at Best Buy and Matt used his reward points on his credit card so we didn't pay anything for it. Which was nice. Olivia had asked for a Lego Friends "singer" set and this was the closest I could find. She was pretty excited.
Penelope got a lot of great presents as well. Her favorites were the Fisher Price lunch box, bath time boat set, and these keys my mom got her.
Oh, and Penelope got her own little bunny slippers from Gini & Eric. She pulls them off to suck on them but they are the cutest!
After we open our presents as a family, I usually clean up and have kids haul their new things upstairs to their rooms so I can get the house ready for my family to arrive. My parents and grandparents came over, we had a pretty good dinner and then the kids had even more presents. This is the kids opening their "big" presents from my parents. Olivia got American Girl doll Julie and Jackson got the Scooby Doo Lego set he's wanted for MONTHS. They were so excited! They got some really nice things from my grandparents, and Penelope got some adorable clothes (which she totally needed!!).
After all of the guest left, the kids started opening boxes and Jackson quietly worked on his Lego set. It took him about two hours but he built it totally by himself. He was SO proud of himself. Now he has it displayed on his dresser for anyone who wants to come see it. Olivia started working on her weaving loom I got her and has already made four potholders and requested a loom refill! 

Then after Christmas, my very best friend Tammy sneakily dropped off presents for my kids. They were so excited to get Barnes & Noble gift cards and other little things. If you give these kids a gift card to anywhere, they get so excited they could burst. 

Usually the day after Christmas we spend time in the morning writing out our thank you cards. Santa got the kids a new art set (in a super nice, small rubbermaid tote) and they diligently wrote them out. If you haven't gotten your thank you yet, it's because it's in my purse waiting to be mailed. 

I haven't left the house with the exception for an appointment on Wednesday since Christmas Eve. I just don't have it in me to go out into the world. Matt said I have to get out today so he's making me run errands. Which... I mean, I'll probably just sit in my van and cry for awhile if we're being honest. I don't know if I should be worried that I'm looking forward to it or not. 

But that was our Christmas. It was good for me to see my children happy. I am so grateful to have such great friends who think my kids are as great as I do. I'm lucky to have family who do so much for us. If I didn't have either of those things, I honestly don't know where I would be. 

1 comment:

thotlady said...

I know what it feels like to be in the throws of depression. Not looking forward to anything and not wanting to see anyone. I am sure it is doubly hard with children, since they do need you quite a lot.

The only thing I have found that helps is to change my routine, so it is good that Matt has encouraged you to get out of the house.

Try to live in the moment, sometimes the overall gets overwhelming.