Saturday, January 1, 2011

Christmas Eve and Day

Happy 2011! This means I'm officially really late in posting about Christmas Day. So let's get down to it...

The last two weeks have been really great because I've been able to work from home. With everyone trying to fit in their remaining vacation days at the end of the year, work has been pretty slow; which meant we got a lot of good family time in. It meant that the couple days leading up to Christmas were pretty relaxed for the most part too, which was awesome. Other than everybody having a really annoying cold, it's been a fun two weeks. We're excited about Christmas every year but this being Madelyn's first Christmas just made it that much more special. And, having two kids on Christmas seems to double the joy and excitement. Needless to say, Madelyn loved Christmas and we loved watching her and Patrick enjoy it. The day was made even cooler by getting several inches of snow.

Christmas Eve, we had a really relaxed morning just hanging out around the house and playing. Then we went to the 4 PM mass at church then over to Grandma and Grandpa Flowers' house for a little dinner and hanging out.
The cool part about going to church was that Patrick and Madelyn sat with Angie in the main church for the first time and not in the cry room. Overall, from what I'm told, they did well. Patrick is still learning about his "inside voice" and of course had a million questions ("Why is that man up there talking? Mom, what did he said? Why are we all supposed to listen? Why are we holding hands?") but the church was very full and louder than normal anyway so I don't think many people noticed. I also thought it was cute that when we sang Silent Night after Communion, both our kids got very sleepy. We've been singing that to them for the last month at bed time. It's comforting to know that good ol' fashion Pavlovian conditioning still works. After dinner, we came back home and I read The Night Before Christmas to the kids before putting them to bed. In between Madelyn pulling her brother's ears and trying to steal his milk, it was a very sweet moment :)

Christmas morning, the kids woke up and we made them stay at the top of the stairs while I came down to setup the video camera and enjoyed the last few moments of calm. My Dad used to do this to us every year growing up. We would wait in anticipation for him to say it was OK to come down; all of us trying to sneak one step further down the stairs without anyone noticing, as if there was a prize for being the first to see the presents. Patrick was no less eager than I always was to come down and see if Santa had paid a visit. He did his usual evasive maneuvering by asking questions and talking a lot while he tried to sneak down. When the kids finally made it to the family room, it was pure joy to watch them. Patrick wasn't sure where to start at first and Madelyn was just excited because she could tell everyone else was. Their big gift this year was a mini kitchen. It was the first thing Patrick opened and I thought we might not get to the rest of the presents once they started playing with it. The mini kitchen also has a pretend phone in it and the first thing Patrick did when he saw the phone was pick it up and make a call to Santa to say thank you for the stove. It made us proud he thought to do that in the middle of all the excitement. We took the rest of the morning to open the other gifts, have breakfast and play with all the new toys.

Christmas afternoon we went over to Grandma and Grandpa's house where there was apparently a Christmas present explosion. It seemed like every inch of their family room was covered in gifts for the three grandkids. Obviously, the kids LOVED it and we all loved watching them. Seeing Patrick, Carson and Madelyn together just makes me happy. I get excited for their futures and imagine looking back at pictures and videos from Christmases like this 15 years from now and marveling over how little and cute they were. The three kids tore into their gifts and took breaks every once in a while to wander over to one of the other ones to see what they were getting. Present opening was followed by an amazing dinner  and lots of fun and laughing together. As Angie and I were bringing the gifts in from the car that night, we were still discovering gifts the kids received and kept saying things like "Oh my gosh! I didn't see that he/she got this! How cool!"

Because I'm an idiot, I packed up both our regular camera and video camera in our spiffy new camera case then promptly drove away, leaving the camera case on the coffee table. I was trying to wait to pack the cameras till the last minute so I could charge the batteries to make sure we'd be able to take tons of pictures. That didn't work out so well. Luckily, Katie and Brandon were kind enough to also take pictures of our kids opening presents and then share them with us. So, any pictures you see from Grandma and Grandpa's house were donated by the Beans. Thank you again Katie and Brandon! Here's the slideshow or blah blah full gallery blah blah...


Jaime said...

So google reader probably makes me look like a stalker for commenting so quickly, but whatever!

I love that you made them wait at the top of the stairs. We did that too (I'm sure most people do, but it's nice to think it's your own special tradition). Even when my sisters and I were in our 20s, before Les and I got married (and maybe even one year with Les's husband), we'd sleep over on Christmas Eve, and wait at the top of the stairs until Mom and Dad were ready. Of course, at that point, it was as much about the cup of coffee that waited on the first floor, but we just loved the tradition and had a hard time letting it go. :)

Happy New Year!

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