Isn’t it fun to look back and see how it all started?
Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year, but since becoming a mommy there is something just magical about it. Being able to experience this special day through the wonder and excitement of your own children is something that I can not express in words. So how about a few pictures instead?
2004Isaac and Nate got to share their first Christmas.
It was a particularly difficult day, as I had been really sick with the stomach flu the day before. We ran ourselves ragged that year, trying to see everyone, but feeling like most of the day was spent in the car driving. We finally got to have our own first Christmas as a family at 9:00 pm that night. Both of the boys were tired, and I was so frustrated with the way the day had gone. After that we started our “new” tradition of not leaving the house on Christmas Day. We both wanted to foster strong family traditions of our own, and staying home has been a great way to make that happen!
Isaac was a typical baby: more interested in the paper than the present itself. Nate was too little to have a clue what was going on. At just two months old he was already used to being propped up in another one of my crazy photo schemes…
I think they made exceptionally adorable Christmas babies…don’t you?
I am seriously lacking pictures of the boys’ second Christmas.
Which is really not like me at all. I remember though that I had to work at the hospital on Christmas Eve, and Saul packed the boys up in the car to pick me up from work in the morning. By now the boys had figured out what a present was, and they wasted no time tearing into each gift. We had so much fun that morning, just the four of us, opening presents and playing with all of the new toys. So much better than the last years rush and drive ordeal...
2006This was one of the coldest and snowiest Christmas’s I can remember.
Having just welcomed our little Elaina into the world, this Christmas was super fun! We invited family to come and visit us, and we enjoyed a great day with good food, fun games, and a sweet baby sleeping in our arms. I remember feeling overwhelmingly grateful at the blessings we’d received in just two Christmas’s. Money was tight, but it didn’t matter. The memories we were creating were more valuable than a tree full of gifts. I’d made sugar cookies for the boys to decorate, and even though they licked most of them, I was so proud of these little boys and so excited about starting our own new family traditions.
Probably the biggest Christmas extravaganza I’ve ever had.
That year my mom and sister and I shopped Black Friday sales for the first time and the tree was literally swallowed up in the presents that we’d bought. I’m sure it has set the kids up for major disappointment since, as our Christmas’ are usually much more modest. Nevertheless, it was an awesome day filled with Nerf gun fights, pirate ships, and baby dolls. We ate cookies all day, watched movies, and basically never changed out of our jammies. Well….everyone but my dad….
Elaina was the cutest little rollie pollie toddler. She was a bit overwhelmed with all of the mess. The boys though ate it up and played until I made them rest. My mom was in heaven, with all of us there, mess and all.
Another super fun Christmas, this time in our new house. Of course we’d awoke before the kids, both of us eager to start the fun, just like kids ourselves. It was fun to watch the “magic” of Christmas unfold as the kids explained to us that they were certain that they’d heard and seen Santa’s boots, and the whirl of his sleigh bells as he dashed off of our roof. That was the year that Isaac kept asking us to please not light the fire because then “Santa would burn his hooney”.
We sat, the two of us in the living room, squished in with our giant tree and ripped wrapping paper, just grinning ear to ear and admiring our beautiful and wondrous children. After assembling a mile of train tracks and dressing and re-dressing the baby dolls, we set about to cleaning the chocolate candies that seemed to have melted all over my new walls and carpeting. Bliss was how I would describe it, and we thought it nice to continue our new tradition of staying in our jammies all day.
Growing our family again, the birth of Olivia just 6 days before, this was a tiring Christmas.
We’d been in a season of change and challenge and it was good to put it aside in order to celebrate the gifts we’d been given.
A new babe in my arms, the days without them being full was but a distant memory. We had a very modest Christmas that year, but sweet just the same. And again, though up late the night before finishing up the details, we arose before the kids, to ring the jingle bells and hear the excited screams. Hoping the children wouldn’t notice the smaller loot, we braced ourselves for complaining and were so pleased that none came. Our extended family had been generous and blessed the kids with so much. I remember feeling so tired, having only been home a few days, but still enjoying playing with my kids and their new toys. We ate our customary sausage bread, stayed in our jammies, and enjoyed each others company.
This was the only Christmas to date, that I had finished my Christmas shopping well before December even started.
The bustle of 4 kids kept me so busy all of the time, I knew if I didn’t start early, I’d probably never finish. By now the kids were all asking to repeat our customary cookie decorating party, and were plotting their own plans to catch Santa in the act of eating them up. I remember Nate had formed an elaborate scheme that included him camping out by the tree next to the video camera. He was so mad when we dismissed the idea, and told us over and over how crazy we were not to let him uncover the mystery of the man in red.
Last year we surprised the kids with yet another new tradition, the Minivan Express and a trip to see Santa at the mall was a must. Both boys, suspicious of the truth behind the big man in red, reluctantly sat on his lap. I overheard them whispering to each other that there was probably no harm in still believing. After all, “If we don’t then we won’t get nuttin’ for Christmas.”
We had a lovely Christmas Eve baking cookies and then went to the candle light service at church. My parents and brother joined us late at night to surprise the kids in the morning. This was the hardest year to convince the kids to wait to open their presents, and they all tore into them at a rate that I was barely able to snap a few photos.
True to our norm, we stayed in our PJ’s, ate sugary treats, and watched as the kids explored their new things. We played games, watched movies, and lounged around.
It was perfectly lazy and relaxing. I hope this year is just like it.
I’ve already listened to lots of ponderings over Santa this year, and I’m fretful that the boys will spoil it for their sisters. I knew this day was coming, and yet I feel sorely prepared for it.
Will I ruin whatever belief they have left if I ask them not to share their questions with the girls? Or should I let it run it’s course and end the magic and mystery?
We have plans to stay home again this year, and I’m so looking forward to it. Our house will be filled with our family, our new niece, and probably lots and lots of Legos and Little People. I’m sure we’ll all be in our jammies, snacking on sweets, sipping coffee, and playing games. Just thinking about it gets me excited, and I know I’ll want to hold onto the day by taking an insane amount of pictures.
It’ll be just perfect to my standards.
I can’t imagine going back to our old busy and rushed way of celebrating anymore.
From our family to yours:
May your Christmas be filled with
the joy and blessing of family and friends,
traditions old and new,
and the real Reason for the season,