our merry *little* Christmas

The year before Kylie entered our lives, Ian and I decided that we'd always be at home for Christmas morning.  We held true to that the one year that we still lived in the same city as much of our family.  The three of us got up, had our little Christmas, and then made our way over to Mama's for brunch.  It was a lovely holiday and we were happy that we got the best of both worlds. 

Then the next year we moved across the state.  

So our, "We'll always be at home for Christmas morning" went right out the window because the desire to be with extended family won out over our desire to wake up at our own home on Christmas morning.  

It's funny, isn't it, how we have these ideas in our heads of what our days as parents will look like before the rubber meets the road?  
(this is applicable in so many areas of our parenting...but i'm sure we're the only ones...  only ones or not, i digress)

With an increasing number of kids...and therefore an increasing amount of *Christmas* tote across the miles each year, we came to a conclusion that works for us.  

In the week leading up to Christmas, we celebrate our 'little family Christmas' here at home.  Our church has several Christmas Eve services in the nights leading up to the real Christmas Eve so that folks headed out of town can celebrate with their church family.  We're one of those families, so we attend a Christmas Eve service and then the next morning we pretend it is Christmas at our house.  

in 2008 we celebrated our first Christmas with two kids...i never dreamed five years later we'd have five kids
That way we get a relaxed *Christmas Day* at our house and we still get to be with our family on the gifts we carefully select for our kids don't have to make the round trip to Mama's and back.

This year each of the kids got a special gift.  Some time ago I had decided to see how those blog printing services worked and I printed out the first six months of Fireworks and Fireflies.  I was amazed how interested each of the kids were, from reading to carefully pouring over the pictures, so each time a discount was offered, I printed out another child's travel log.

I was pretty sure they would enjoy them, but was thrilled when I heard the squeals of delight as each child turned pages, intently studying pictures and stories about the first few days of them being part of our family.  Ian and I let them go for a while and then finally reminded them that they each had another gift from us.

Opening presents didn't take very long, but the rest of the morning was spent watching them get lost in play.

There was a bike for her Journey Girl,

a camping set for her Calico Critters

a Perplexus maze ball,

a race track for his beloved 'babies' cars,

and a bathtub Dora doll for our bathtub queen.

this bath taken at 10:30 am...
We rounded out the day with a TexMex lunch (cause nothing says Christmas like chips and salsa, right?) and Christmas caroling at the local retirement home.

Bonus perk of celebrating Christmas a few days early?  Our local frozen custard shop was open on our Christmas Day...a very sweet ending to a lovely day.


Laurie said...

Ha! I laugh at how many things I said I'D never do as a parent… :) You do what works, right? Looks like your little change in tradition is working out great for everyone! :)

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Looks like it was the best Christmas ever! Don't take this wrong, but miss N's face is so much better! I am completely amazed at what has transpired since you guys got home a couple of months ago. She looks like a completely different child.