Friday, December 30, 2011

Our Christmas

On the morning of Friday, December 23, Brad, the boys, and I celebrated our Christmas together.  If I was being honest, I'd say that it was good.  But it was odd.  We've been living with my parents for the past four months, and while I think we've "gotten used to it" at this point, how we function as a family is different.  And while many things were the same in regards to our Christmas traditions and how we celebrate, it was different.  Not bad.  Not normal.  Just different.  

One of the ways it was very different for us this year was that in order to accommodate all of the family gatherings and celebrations, we needed to spread out our own family Christmas throughout the weekend.  {As a plus, Brad did not have any church obligations this year, which allowed us to be more flexible, but it also took away a little from our "normal" Christmas plans.}  Santa comes on Christmas Eve, but on Christmas Day we would be traveling to Pella, and after last year, I vowed that we wouldn't have our Christmas on a travel day.  It doesn't allow the boys to play and enjoy their new gifts, and it puts an unnecessary rush on what we want to be a fun, relaxing, family day.  And because the Clifton Christmas was to be the night of the 23rd, the house would be entertaining guests that evening and the following morning. light of all of that mumbo jumbo, we opted to have the boys open their gifts from us on Friday, the 23rd.

Because it wasn't Christmas Eve, and the Santa hype wasn't in play, the boys didn't have the excitement that they have had the last couple years.  They knew when they went to bed the night before that we'd be opening gifts the next day, but when Drew woke up, there wasn't any mention of it.  This was fine, and I didn't encourage his excitement because Reed was still sleeping...and quite frankly, if/when Reed finally decides he doesn't need to wake up at 6:30 in the morning, I'm not going to do anything to change his mind!  Reed was up around 7:30, the boys woke up Brad shortly after, and then the excitement ensued!

 Of course, you wouldn't know it by this picture. :)
I promise, they were pretty stoked about the presents, just not-so-stoked about smiling for the camera.

They received clothes, books, puzzles, games, and a new racetrack.  They also received a new alarm clock/nightlight for their bedroom.

 And, of course, they each opened the gift the other had picked out for him at the Dollar Store.  Drew was so excited for Reed to open the Tigger he had picked out.  Reed was pretty excited about it, too.

 We had our traditional breakfast - monkey bread! - 

...before spending the rest of the morning enjoying our new things.

That evening, we had Christmas with the Cliftons, and spent all day Saturday (Christmas Eve) playing with each other and packing our suitcases to head to Pella on Christmas Day.

Before heading out of town on Sunday, we awoke to find that Santa had visited us during the night, leaving stockings full of goodies for the boys.  And much like Friday morning, neither of the boys woke up with much excitement or anticipation.  I don't think they remembered....and I don't think they remembered because the night before wasn't one of our better nights, and in the midst of the impatience and frustration and over-tiredness, I totally blanked on having the boys set out cookies for Santa Claus. Instead of happily anticipating Santa's arrival, I was threatening Drew with a stocking full of coal if his behavior didn't change.  Ugh.  Merry stinkin' Christmas, right?  

So anyway, while it wasn't our traditional routine, and our Christmas schedule felt a little out of whack, the boys found their stockings after having been awake for a little while.

 Santa gave the boys new movies, sunglasses, candy and socks.

 Then came the really good stuff! 

MP3 players for both boys.

And yes, yes we did give our two-year-old a MP3 player.  Here's how it came about: we were in need of another DVD player for the van.  We have one, and it can be strapped onto either one of the front seat headrests, which then situates it perfectly in front of one of the boys while the other one has to strain to see the screen.  I've been trying to convince Brad that we need to purchase the dual DVD players, but Brad, as technologically minded as he is, suggests MP3 players instead.  His argument: they are portable, they can watch what they want, and *headphones*!!!  Plus, he found a great deal on them, so I was sold.  The boys are too.  They aren't iPods or iPhones, like Drew asked for, but they'll do. :)

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