Friday, January 07, 2011

Christmas Eve 2010

We just got home from our 12 day holiday extravaganza and I have a lot of catching up to do! We had a great Christmas vacation and I hope you did too. I have to say that after almost two weeks, it was sweet to wake up and realize I was in my own bed this morning.

Growing up, Christmas Eve was just as exciting as Christmas Day. My dad's big extended family gathered at my grandparents' house and we had a grand, long dinner and exchanged gifts. Mom always got mad at Pappaw for trying to give us kids the spiked egg nog and sometimes Santa Claus showed up to surprise the little ones. Uncle Mike and I never failed to share a bite of turkey skin and Uncle John could always be depended on for help with gifts of technology. One year my dad accidentally gave my grandpa a $300 shirt from Orvis and no one will ever forget the hilarious and shocking realization of his costly mistake. My dad wanted to return it but Pappaw declared it to be his favorite gift he'd ever received. He wore it proudly for years. That is a story we retell at every family gathering.

Our family's Christmas traditions have changed over time. Last year our little family found ourselves without anything to do on Christmas Eve and it was just sad! So I invited my parents, Melissa and Colin, and another family over for a spaghetti dinner. My mom was still recovering from her surgery and needed all her strength to get ready to host everyone the next day and Melissa and Colin were spending time with his family. So it just ended up being us and Kristy and Drew and their kids. We had such a sweet time with them and were eager to do it again this year.

There were two differences this year. One, we had baked spaghetti rather than spaghetti and meatballs. Two, Kristy and Drew have a daughter now! It was actually on Christmas Eve 2009 that they told us they were expecting again. What a joy to have that little one with us this year. Little Annika looked edible, did she not?

This is where the big boys ate.

This is where the rest of us ate. I need to buy more chairs but that is not what I want to spend my money on.

Before dinner, everyone played outside in our backyard. It got dark pretty quickly and then we came inside to eat. After our tummies were full, the adults gave each of the kids a stocking and little presents.

This is Levi (2).

Here's Kolby (almost 5).

Sage (6) and Jackson (almost 5).

Annabeth (almost 2) and Annika got tiaras. Annabeth loved hers, even though it didn't match her Rudolph dress.

We busted out the Wii at the end of the night. If AB gets to hold a control, she thinks she's playing.

We tried to take a pic of the kids in front of the tree in their Christmas pajamas and it turned out like this. This will be a treasure to me one day.

Last year we let Jackson sleep in our room so we'd know when he woke up. We wanted to see his face when he saw his presents in the living room. He asked to do it again this year. Here he is on the pallet listening to his daddy read the Christmas story. He looks mad but this is his "on the verge of sleep" face. Notice the ever-present Beckham. He loves his boy.

Once the kids were asleep, Mr. and Mrs. Claus pulled out the presents to wrap them. Then we realized our cute wrapping paper was at Curt's office. Awesome. Curtis had to go to CVS to get some more. I seriously doubted his ability to pick out anything I would like, but he did well considering it was like 11 PM on Christmas Eve.

Annabeth got a little pink kitchen.

The one thing Jackson asked for consistently was "a race track that crashes cars." Thank God there was such a thing.


3girlsmom said...

1. I'm obsessed with AB's tutu.
2. Jax is almost FIVE? Where has the time gone? We'll be kindergarten mommies together! Then I'll be a kindergarten mommy AGAIN the next year when my youngest goes. I need to stock up in Kleenex now...
3. We made our kids wait at the top of the stairs this year instead of coming downstairs and seeing their gifts before we could get the camera. Oldest TEXTED me to tell me they were awake. Technology makes me laugh, but allowed me to get good pics! :)
4. Happy 2011! Fran and I are trying to plan a trip to Houston - would LOVE to see you & hang out whenever that works out!

Angie said...

very cute!
My seven year old also got Criss Cross Crash-the ONLY thing he kept asking for! Thank you Hot Wheels for knowing what boys like better than racing-CRASHING!!

Happy New Year!

Susy said...

Sweet memories! Eli got a doll house. I hope we can hold out for next year and then do the kitchen thing.

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

Amanda! I am so jeal of AB's pink kitchen! Do you think I'm too old for one of those? ;)

Tara G. said...

How did your dad mistakenly buy a $300 shirt!?! Too funny!

What great times and memories!! :)

Kelli said...

Loved this post! What a sweet tradition with two sweet families! :)

Michelle said...

I enjoyed reading that we're not the only people who wrap their gifts on Christmas Eve- my kids are 20, 17 and 14 and I still tell them Santa doesn't come until Christmas Eve; and I enjoyed seeing the stockings proped up on a chair- phew, thought we were the only ones :-)

R said...

your tree pictures are sooo pretty! nothing i love more than a lit tree in the dark. :0) ours is still up, i love it so much!

StacieHope365 said...

Of all the things you wrote, you referring to Jackson on the pallet made me smile. I live in Michigan(I have never heard anyone from the north call it a "pallet") but was raised by a grandmother from the south and she used to set up "pallets" for all of us kids when we had "extry company" (another thing she would say). She died awhile ago but this sparked a sweet memory for me.

Happy New Year Amanda!!

Shellie Paparazzo said...

1. Annika does look "edible."
2. I love that AB thinks she's playing when she's holding a controller. My youngest (Chloe) used to do that too. Now, she's eight and just complains that nobody ever lets her play. It's tough being the baby of the family. Check out my blog. In just a little while I should have what I hope is a great post about my weekend ladies retreat.

Traci said...

I love this entire post, but I am obsessed with that string thing that holds your Christmas cards. Did you buy that or just put up some string? Brilliant.

Amanda said...

Traci, I ran out of space on my little Christmas card holder, so I just got some yarn I already had and punched holes in the cards. It turned out to be a really fun part of our decor.

Renee Swope said...

Just catching up a little on your blog. Oh my goodness. Where did you get AB's kitchen? I've been looking for one for Aster but can't find one that is trendy or cute enough to go in the corner of my living room or kitchen. I love hers!!!!!!!

Ali said...

Love AB's kitchen set! I want one too (I promise to share with my daughter!) Where did you buy it? Is it pottery barn kids?

Love it! Isn't if fun to have a daughter! I agree those little mini All Clad looking pots and pans are adorable!

~ Ali

Ali said...

Okay did some online looking and found that cute pink kitchen set! It's by KinderCraft and is sold online at amazon for about $139 or even at Walmart online! Such a great deal. Looks similar to the pink PBK's kitchen set but, a lot cheaper!

~ Ali