Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmases Past

Yep, I did New Year's before Christmas, but who's checking anyway, right? When Chris and I got married, we agreed that it is just too darn difficult and stressful at Christmas. Our solution was simple. Refuse to leave the house on Christmas Day. And that is what we have done.

On our first Christmas together, we had all of our kids together for Christmas Day after lunch. We gave them all luggage for our upcoming trip to Disney. The only time we left that day was to pick them up from their other parents houses. Christmas with the rest of our families was later that evening for supper at our house. We served a giant spaghetti feast and opened gifts.

The second Christmas, all of the kids were here to wake up Christmas morning to the gifts from Santa. We had a late lunch for everyone in my family to celebrate. It was a baked potato bar with every imaginable topping available. I adore it when the kiddos are all here to wake up on Christmas morning. Sadly, we also have to share them with the other half of their families, so they left around 4 on Christmas Day.

Last year, we weren't supposed to have them until 4, but we got lucky. It began to snow and sleet, so they were allowed to come at noon. It was a special Christmas, because Lefty got her first car! It was a total surprise. Adding even more to the magic of Christmas 2012, it was the first time that The Boy and Loo were able to be here when it snowed. We had a traditional Christmas dinner of turkey and ham with dressing and a variety of side dishes brought by my extended family.

In 2013, our whole family was together again for Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, we attempted to go for a drive to look at Christmas lights and decor, which is a tradition of ours. Unfortunately, not many people in our area put any out so we came home pretty quickly and very disappointed. It wasn't until after all of the kids had gone to bed that I realized we didn't do something that we have always done...cookies for Santa. O.M.G. I guess my babies aren't so little anymore. By 6:30 Christmas morning, the stockings were stuffed and the gifts was made, and then WE HAD TO WAKE THEM UP. Another sign that my babies aren't so little anymore. The rest of the story is better told in pictures, with my apologies for the poor photo quality!

Waiting to get kicking on the present opening!

I love his pure joy and innocence! He wrapped the gift below for me all by himself and was oh so excited to give it to me. His joy was not just in the getting, but also in the giving...he stood by each person as they opened the gift that was from him and waited until they had seen it and made sure that it was known he had given it!

Passing out the gifts
It's not an Arkansas Christmas without some Razorback gifts!
This sweet boy had the best seat and idea in the house! He slept through the entire Christmas shenanigans!

My traditional Christmas jammies!

I do miss the years and Christmases gone by...those where my babies were babies. I would watch, listen, absorb, and memorize every expression and giggle...because they are only little for a little while. And then it is gone. 

As they get older, though, I am enjoying seeing that I raised them right. They are gracious and giving, generous and loving. They buy gifts of their own accord, with their own money. This year they didn't even ask me to take them shopping. They just went. And learned a lot of lessons along the don't wait until Christmas week to shop! I hope that didn't jade them too much!!! Though Christmas has become bittersweet, I look ahead to Christmases to come with joy and contentment.

Merry Christmas past, present, and future.
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