A "little family" Christmas

We're one of those traveling families for Christmas.

(For the record, Ian and I said when we first married that once kids came along, we'd always be at our house for Christmas morning.  And then him having a job forced us across the state...  Now we "go home" for Christmas.  But that's okay, because in my heart, Christmas memories include heading to the panhandle of Maryland to be with my Mom's family for Christmas.  I can still hear the chorus of welcome from my cousins and smell Grandma's cheesy potatoes when I close my eyes...)

But to cut down on the amount of cargo that travels the highway and back with us in the van, we have our "little family" Christmas ~ our kids refer to our nuclear family that way ~ a day or two early.  (We make it as authentic as we can by attending one of our church's early Christmas Eve services the night before).  The big kids remembered well from last year what was coming the next morning and were waiting downstairs at the tree by the time Ian and I got out of bed.

Wee one though?  Well, he had to be coaxed to the tree.  The smile was in return for a cookie.  (yes for breakfast.  Don't judge.  All's fair on Christmas for pictures).

and i have no idea where his pajama pants were when this shot was taken ~ nor do i have any idea why they were off
Then the bigs started explaining to Daniel that we were about to let them tear into the presents.  

And DQ started turning cartwheels in excitement.  

I think that was when the real smiles came...

It was a pretty low-key morning.  From us each kiddo got two "bookish" type gifts, 

and two things we knew they really wanted.  (one for each shown)

the "monster truck mater" he's been asking for since january

a set of party clothes for barbie

mini lmq with sally, flo, ramone, doc, sheriff and several others

she calls tipi her american doll, but she's actually a hearts for hearts doll with part of the proceeds going to world vision 
And there were fun surprises from Aunt Rachel

pillow pets, mater operation and two new trains (toby and salty)
 and Uncle Josh.

hk backpack, a fairy coloring book, dinos from dinosaur train and a new engine (sidney)
Then when the opening was done, it was play time.

doodling in the hk doodle book and looking for hidden pictures in a princess book

this was what we envisioned last year when caleb was the only boy home to play with the trains ~ the moment was worth waiting for!

great fine motor skill practice, right?
though we may have heard a little buzzing...

sweet sister rest time
It was a pajama kind of day, and we wore them well as we played Operation, built forts, rebuilt the "Island of Sodor," and read books.  The 23rd was our first Christmas, but it also happened to be the six month anniversary of when we first met Daniel.  Even though we had already opened gifts, a celebration was in order, so we got dressed after I whipped up a quick stir fry and walked to the frozen yogurt bar around the corner.  We sang carols as we walked down the sidewalk and admired the pretty Christmas lights in our neighborhood.  That little addition may need to become part of our yearly tradition, it was a fun way to end the evening.

Finally it was time to go to bed in preparation for heading to Grandma's house on Christmas Eve.  There the kids would be greeted with a chorus of voices by their cousins and we'd smell something yummy coming from the kitchen...


Amy Murphy said...

I love that her doll supports World Vision! And it looks like you guys had a simply perfect Christmas!

Debbie Sauer said...

Sounds like a wonderful family Christmas filled with lots of memory making opportunities. Blessings

Lee and Sarah VanGrunsven said...

What a neat doll! I had never heard of them (dolls) before. I will definitely have to check them out. Looks like it was a great Christmas!

Heather said...

Great pics of Christmas goodies! Love it!

Grandma Shultz said...

What a great tradition you have started for your family. I love traditions. Christmas Eve service of worship then Fondue with family,
Nalleschniki for Christmas brunch,
Christmas dinner with all who can come. Celebrating Jesus' birth together has started many traditions that help keep us all grounded.

Traci said...

Love it. i love Christmas and I love your family!

Nancy said...

What a perfect day!