The remainder of Christmas Eve was low key and laid back. My sister and I delivered presents to her boyfriend Frankie. Garrison and I made a M&M wreath and then ate part of it. We hung around the house watching whatever Christmas movie was on ABC Family and snacking on cookies. And then we enjoyed a Christmas Eve Garrison family tradition of chili and hotdogs for supper. Yum, yum.
Before bed Garrison put out food for Santa's reindeer (a gift from his teachers at school). It was SO foggy Christmas Eve. Glad Santa had Rudolph to guide his sleigh!
After putting out food for the reindeer, the boys opened their Christmas Eve gift from AnAn... Christmas pajamas! A pair for Christmas Eve and a pair for Christmas night. =) And they looked oh so cute in the pair Garrison picked out for them to wear. Best of all, both boys went to bed on time and slept all night long. Such a blessing... and a such a difference from last year!
During the night while A Christmas Story played on TV, Santa visited and left a load of goodies. Garrison's stash from Santa included a bike and helmet, magna tiles, a new puzzle, new shoes, and a Scooby Doo van (plus safari animals and a firetruck tent to share with Austin).
Austin's stash from Santa included a new riding toy, new bath toy, ball, puzzle, hammer toy, shapes toy, "Pop Pop" (at least that's what we call it) that Granna and Papa had Santa deliver along with the safari animals and tent to share with Garrison.
Quick Disclaimer: The wrapped presents in the pictures were gifts from us, Granna and Papa, and AnAn and Frankie. We don't go that overboard. (They do, but not us. Ha!)
Christmas morning was super fun. Terrell and I woke up and waited and waited for one of the boys to wake up. Finally, around 7:30, Garrison woke up very anxious to see what Santa brought him... so we got Austin up and made our way into the living room...
Garrison's first reaction to his bike was That bike is too big for me, with a frown on his face I might add. Thankfully he grew to love it. Austin didn't really know what was going on but he was definitely excited and enjoyed his new toys.
AnAn and Frankie joined us for Christmas morning too!
I know I say this every year, but my parents are SO generous and truly embrace the spirit of giving. And, they go above and beyond with the decorations and the food and everything at Christmastime. There's nothing like it. They've set the bar high I tell you. Way high. But by next year I'm hoping they cut down the boys gifts to 1 thing they want, 1 thing they need, 1 thing to wear, and 1 thing to read. =) They were just a little off this year. Haha! Thanks mama and daddy!!
For Christmas lunch we went over to my Nanny's to celebrate with my dad's side of the family. And we were so blessed to have a new family member join us this year. My cousin's baby boy who was only 4 days old Christmas Day made an appearance. We were thrilled! We had a great lunch, enjoyed loving on sweet baby Cecil, opened presents, and even got in this picture with Nanny and her grandchildren. Anna and Frankie had to leave by that point and 2 of my cousins weren't there, but that's almost all of us...
After dinner the boys got dressed in their other new pair of pj's and we got ready to open stockings... a Christmas night tradition for our family. They were both excited and loved their new treats. Garrison was especially tickled he had dessert (translation: Skittles, a fun size Snickers, and a fun size Twix) in his. And, you won't believe it, but BOTH of my boys slept great again on Christmas night! Praise the Lord! After our tough Thanksgiving I was prepared for the worst. The Lord blessed us with good sleep this Christmas!
The day after Christmas was a little crazy trying to load up and pack up but somehow my super-packer of a husband figured out a way to fit everything into (or on top of!) our Jeep. Yay! And, my big boy got to ride his bike outside. Finally. Christmas Day was rainy so he had to be super patient. His riding buddy, Granna, also got a bike for Christmas. I think Granna getting a new bike and being able to ride with him made a big difference in the little man's comfort level. They talked, practiced, and figured things out together. Before we left Wednesday, he was a pro. =)
I think that concludes Part 2. Christmas with little ones (and spending the night away from home) always brings challenges and adventures... but it's what memories are made of. In the moment I don't always appreciate it... because I'm typically stressing or ready to pull my hair out or feeling like I'm going to go crazy, but looking back I kind of do... cause like I said, it's what memories are made of. I had an "aha" moment Christmas night when I felt on the brink of a meltdown due to the "craziness" and my sister said, "What's crazy?" like I was the crazy one. What feels crazy to me isn't necessarily crazy and stressful to everybody else. Sometimes mama just needs to take a chill pill. In the end it's hectic and wild and loud, but it's okay. It's even fun if I'll let myself enjoy it. =)
We had a GREAT Christmas this year. We enjoyed lots of family time, lots of fun, and lots of gifts as we celebrated the greatest Gift of all, Jesus Christ. We were together. We were healthy. We welcomed new family members. Yes, it was great. Hectic, wild, loud, sometimes stressful, and GREAT.
Now to clean up and start party planning. A little boy at my house will be 4 soon!
Here's the recap of Christmas 2011~ Part 2