Sunday, December 30, 2012

Four Christmases

The kids were too little and our lives were too hectic to really extend the holiday spirit through the entire month of December. I really tried to pull out all the decorations and make our house a winter wonderland. But all I ended up accomplishing was pulling out some nutcrackers and music boxes that they could play with and getting the tree up and I played Christmas music all day long.

When I was a kid, we were never allowed to touch the decorations so I made it a point to put the music boxes in their reach so they can play with them anytime they wanted. We have three less music boxes now as a result. Oh well.

I'm really looking forward to the years where we can pile them all in the car and go drive around and look at lights, but I don't think they would have gotten it this year. We did get out to see Santa and, again, I dressed them in their Christmas outfits for their pictures. I'm so glad I did this, because it ended up being my only picture of all three dressed up and together. Somehow I never took a picture of them in front of our tree :/

The only other photos of them all decked out were blurry iphone pics that I snapped off before we left for our Santa visit. Oh well. How sweet are the girls' dresses? I was so excited about their little matching outfits. I even found the same shoes for them. I die. Sisters <3

Reese and Ryan had a pajama party at preschool to celebrate the holidays. How hard is it to photograph two toddlers? So hard. But anyway, I got them these cute Santa hats on clearance at Michaels to go along with their "Santa's Helper" pajamas. Ryan still hasn't taken his off over three weeks later. The kid literally sleeps with it on. Christmas in July, anyone?

Our first Christmas was spent in New Jersey with my family. We did our usual traditions. Fish dinner. Lots of people. Dessert that spanned and entire dining room table. Santa came at midnight. 

This is my favorite part of Christmas. It is truly the magic of being a child. Being surrounded by your family -- people that you love more than anything else -- and then Santa Claus. 

Is there anything better than Santa? Our kids were a little hesitant to sit with Santa, but they were more than happy to give him a high five.

Totally unrelated, but funny nonetheless, two of my aunts wore the same shirt to our Christmas celebration. It was completely unplanned, and when one turned the corner and saw the other in the same shirt. Well, the looks on their faces were priceless. Good times. 

On Christmas Day, we woke up and had breakfast with my family and then hit the road to get home to Joe's parents who were waiting for us in New York. We started with stockings, which is Joe's family tradition. Filling those stocking with things that I wouldn't want to throw away in a week was a true challenge. I put three train cars in Ryan's stocking. Christmas could have ended there for him and he wouldn't have cared. He loved those trains. 

I lost Reese once she turned the corner and saw this gift from her Nana and Papa.

It's a singing horse that she can ride. Did I mention it sings? All you have to do is press a button on its ear and sing, sing, sing the horse sings. Reese hit that button at least 467 times on Christmas Day. Lord have mercy. But goodness, that horse makes her happy. 

The kids were spoiled rotten this year. My mom said they weren't spoiled, because they are really, really good kids, they are just well loved. Regardless, they had so many people loving them at Christmas time that we had to extend Christmas by an additional two days just so they could open and enjoy all of their gifts. We even took a few out from under the tree and made them birthday presents because, while Joe and I didn't go overboard, the grandparents did. 

With their birthday being spread over two weekends in January -- a party with just us five and a party with our extended family and friends -- these kids are going to get to February and wonder why no one is celebrating and handing them wrapped boxes. 

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