Christmas 2011 was AMAZING

We started a new tradition this year…..opening a few presents on Christmas Eve. We left the girls with my parents while we did some last minute shopping. It wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be, or maybe I was in such a good mood the crowds didn’t really bother me.

I had to snap this picture of father and son playing with the wrapping paper. Samuel is into karate chopping people now – he was having too much fun with it while we waited in line.

The girls couldn’t wait to open their presents! They had set up a pile of pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals while I was upstairs wrapping a few gifts. They were having so much fun that they didn’t even see me put these gifts under the tree.

It was about 20 minutes before they noticed, and when they did they were squealing with excitement.
Every year has been different, some years they’ve had a lot of gifts, and others only a few. Ava thought that they were going to wait until Christmas Day to open them, and both girls were so happy with what was under the tree. They thought that was all they were getting for Christmas this year, and they were fine with that.

I know some kids get nothing for Christmas, so it touched my heart that my kids would’ve been perfectly happy with one or two gifts. It’s never been about how many gifts they get.
I hope that doesn’t sound shallow. It just really makes me feel all giddy inside knowing that if there were no Christmas Eve presents, and they only had one or two gifts each, they would be happy with that.
I love my kids!

Each kid got a book and a pair of PJ’s. I had been looking online for books on dancing with African American girls, and I found this one for Kiah….. Sugar Plum Ballerinas: Plum Fantastic, its her first chapter book. She’s not reading yet, but loves it when we read to her.

I had found this one for Ava, Dancing In The Wings, but it wasn’t in stock at the store because it was so new. So I ended up getting her Mia and the Dance for Two.
Both girls have been talking about ballerinas so much lately….now I’m on the hunt for inexpensive classes for them.

 Samuel has The Poky Little Puppy. I had this book as a child. Remember the original Golden Books?

I think I made the girls scarves a little long, but they don’t seem to mind. They said they like them long so they can wrap them up. Samuel and Charles have matching scarves. My mom, dad, and brother got one from me too.

Samuel and Peepaw.

We were supposed to make cookies, for Santa, then cupcakes, but it got too late. We still had all of the Christmas Day presents to wrap. I decided to go ahead and make a cake. Ava made it very clear that Santa was to have milk waiting for him to drink along with his cake.

The gift my mom gave me had reindeer food in it, so I searched in the cabinet for oatmeal, and we already had glitter. I mixed up a couple batches for the kids and went to put it in the front yard with the kids. No pictures of that because it was cold, and I thought for sure they would toss it, and I wouldn’t capture it on film anyway. I was wrong…they took their time sprinkling it throughout the yard making sure it was evenly covered for the reindeer and Santa to see so they could find our house.

I’m not going to get all deep into the whole Santa thing, but my kids believe in Santa, it’s part of the magic of Christmas around here. They ask Santa for one or two things every year, and he brings it, they think the rest of the presents are from us, but Santa brings them for us.
They know about baby Jesus, and are quite fascinated by him being born in a stable with animals all around.I know not everyone believes what we do, and vice versa, and that’s fine.
On with the show….

It had got so late that we forgot to set out our note for Santa, so I did that after the girls were asleep. I almost forgot….that would’ve been ugly. Ava would’ve let me have it for sure. I made the note and set out the food.

We were up until almost 4am wrapping presents. Kiah didn’t sleep well the night before, slept most of the day, and of course was up until about 1ish.
Ava asked Santa for a Unicorn, Kiah asked for chocolate and Skittles. We were so blessed this year, and I was happy to pay it forward by passing on some things via freecycle and craigslist to those in need.

I couldn’t stop looking at our tree this year. I loved everything about it. Isn’t she pretty?

Christmas morning! They had slept in their new PJ’s the night before, but had to put skirts on before they came down to open presents. They crack me up.

Kiah loved this hat. She put it on and it didn’t come off until later that evening, but only for a short time.

Ava calls the zhu zhu pets zunder pets, hehe.

Samuel played in the kitchen while the girls opened presents. Charles says Samuel thinks we got this just for him. We had planned on getting them a new kitchen set anyway, and then the girls kept mentioning how they wanted a new one for Christmas. We were over at a friends house a few weeks ago, and they have a bigger version of this set. Samuel played in it for a long time with one of their little girls, and cried hard when it was time to go.

I was so excited to find this one for them. I knew they would love it.

Back to opening more presents…

Check out my brother in his new coat. The next several pictures are sheer Christmas Joy. I smile and feel warm inside just looking at them.

Ava and her Animal Crossing game. She LOVES this game, and had watched my brother play for a long time. She was super excited to have her very own. It’s a really cool game.

My in-laws came over for Christmas at our place this year. My brother got the girls their very own Wii, and they played it off and on all day.

There’s always a game of spades going on when they’re around. I need to learn how to play. Charles wants to me to be able to partner up with him.

Cousins enjoying the kitchen set. They are about 2 1/2 months apart.

All the men…I love this picture!

Also love the next couple with all the women. Yours truly on the end. Samuel managed to sneak in on one…

All the kids take 1…2…3…4

That was our Christmas. I hope yours was as fun, loving, and magical as ours was!

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Love Notes

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